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Computer Threats: Know Your Enemy

Currently, information security and information technology have become synonymous. Computers and stored information are the primary value for both private users and businesses. Companies have to pay special attention to information security, protecting sensitive financial and transaction data from intruders.

In this regard, a business owner is likelty look for an efficient and secure antivirus solution by exploring Kaspersky, Norton, or McAfee reviews. Indeed, modern antivirus programs have the required functionality to detect and neutralize various threats. Moreover, for corporate actors there are specific packages. However, before any purchase, an owner of the business ought to know what to counter.

What is Computer Virus?

Computer viruses are one of your computer's most significant threats and can be very harmful to your system. All your data recorded on the hard disk or other drives can be stolen or lost. There are various definitions of a computer virus. In general, a virus is a program code embedded in a program or document that enters the user's computer to unauthorized destruction, blocking, distortion, data copying, and information collection. Another destructive aspect is infecting other computers either in the local network or over the Internet. The virus's main feature is its ability to spread from one computer to another without the user's knowledge. The actions of viruses often lead to significant disruptions in the operation of one computer or corporate network.

Classification of Viruses

Viruses are usually classified according to the following criteria:

  • surroundings (infected objects);

  • infected operating system;

  • work algorithm features;

  • damaging power.

According to the surroundings, viruses are divided into a file, boot, network, and macro viruses.

File and boot viruses

They are among the most common types of computer viruses. Their distinctive feature is that they are activated when an infected program is launched. The virus code is usually contained in the executable file of the program (file with exe, com, or bat extension), or in the dynamic library (DLL extension) used by the program.

Currently, such viruses are usually scripts written using a scripting programming language (JavaScript, for example) and can be included in web pages. They are embedded in executable files, create duplicate files, or use the features of the file system to perform unauthorized actions. Boot viruses are written to the boot sector of the disk and are launched when the operating system starts becoming part of it.

Network viruses

Network viruses, which are also called network worms, have the local network as their principal place of residence and functioning. A network virus, getting to the user's computer, copies itself and spreads to other computers on the network. For spread, it uses email, instant messaging systems (for example, Viber), data exchange networks, and shortcomings of network configuration and errors in network protocols.

Macro viruses

Macro viruses hit documents executed in some applications that have tools for running macros. These documents include files created using the Microsoft Office that supports the creation of macros in the Visual Basic for Application programming language.

If your employees often work with documents, it is beneficial to make sure that macro support is disabled (Tools - Options - Macro Security) before opening a newly received or unfamiliar file created in programs such as MS Word or Excel. Or, for Microsoft Word 2010, under Program Security, check if Protected View and Data Execution Prevention are enabled.

However, it is possible to say that a modern virus can often be attributed to several viruses at once. Such cases may refer to file boot viruses or file network worms. An example of the last-mentioned malware is a network macro virus that harms documents created in Word or Excel and transmits copies of itself by email.

For destructive capabilities, dangerous and non-dangerous viruses are distinguished. Harmful viruses disable the operating system, damage, or destroy information stored on the disk. Non-dangerous viruses practically do not affect the performance of the computer. They do not decrease the operating system's efficiency, except for increasing the disk space that they occupy and reducing the amount of free computer memory.

Spam and Phishing

Processes involving information sharing refer to spam and phishing. They are not viruses in the usual sense. They can have harmful consequences not so much for the computer as for the company's financial condition.


Spam is a bulk mailing, usually containing intrusive advertising, to the addresses of users who have not expressed a wish to receive it. Spam is harmful because it loads the communication channels and network equipment of providers. This increases traffic and reduces the transmission capacity for useful information. Also, spam forces the user to waste time processing useless information. Better ignore any spam email, even if you really want to reply. Your response will be a confirmation that this mailbox exists, and such information is valuable for spammers. In the future, your inbox will be continuously filled with spam.


This is a type of fraudulent activity on the net aimed to obtain users' data. Usually, it works the following way: the user receives a message about the need to update confidential information by clicking on the link offered. Then, by clicking on the link, the user goes to a fake site where he leaves his sensitive data, including passwords, credit card, or bank account information that results in their stealing. Modern antivirus systems collect a database of such threats, and when a user tries to follow a phishing link, he gets a danger warning message.

Undoubtedly, any company requires a universal set of tools to protect the most critical corporate resources. Comprehensive cross-platform solutions provide a decent level of protection for each node of the corporate network allowing a centralized approach to ensuring security at all levels of the system. Whether you run a small or large business, they can protect you from today's sophisticated malware and spam, offering quick recovery tools for critical systems.

This article does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors or management of EconoTimes

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