Hello again, Reader.
Today, I’m covering Antivirus software and the kinds of viruses one can – and should – look out for.
Prior to 1980, antivirus software had not existed where the first kinds of computer viruses were developed. The intent of the first viruses developed, was to reproduce itself indefinitely causing the infected computer major slowdown. The first virus to affect computers outside of a controlled environment was titled the Elk Cloner virus.
Surprisingly, computers affected by this virus were Apple II desktops. Essentially, the virus was developed as a High School kids Prank. It displayed a Poem to the infected users terminal, and would clone itself onto floppy disks inserted and the Boot-sector of the Hard Drive.
In short, this means that the computer affected, and its connected memory devices, would get written over by the program. The program would also write a Signature to the memory device to let itself know that the computer is already infected.
The only way this virus could be fought, without there being Antivirus software already developed, was for the operating system to be rewritten fresh onto the HDD, or for the signature to be produced manually such that the program would choose not to infect the computer (it would believe the computer to be infected already, and the virus would not activate.)
Antivirus programs – at this time – only functioned to disable the reproducing of specific viruses. In the beginning, they also only appeared on specific systems, like Atari computers, or Apple II computers.
Nowadays, there is a wide selection of both free antivirus programs and paid programs. These pieces of modern antiviral software now protect us from all sorts of different viruses and infections that could harm us or our computers.
Now, what are some of the viruses one could come across?
Boot Sector viruses would infect the portions of the hard disk which loaded first. They are now mostly obsolete, as this type of virus was more effective on older hardware.
Web Scripting viruses are harder to track, as they infect content without the user or moderator of that content being notified. This type of virus is script level and usually left in comment fields on videos or as part of a harmful sites programming, for example.
Trojan Horse viruses harm the user by sitting unnoticed on their device, while stealing information behind the users back. This could be Keys that the user presses, to credit card information, and more.
There are many other viruses, as well. Viruses to hijack the homepage and browsing capabilities of a user, viruses to delete important or random files, viruses to automatically send emails from a users address…
However, the antivirus software of today can ease ones worries about their safety online, and most casual computer users will not have to worry about these viruses. If one visits a lot of random, unfiltered websites, or downloads sketchy programs, then the risk of infection would grow dramatically.
If you need an antivirus program, AVG Antivirus is one of the best Free antivirus software out there. For paid software, McAfee and Norton are very well reviewed but cost around $60 for a year subscription (from my knowledge.)
In ending, viruses can and have been very annoying and difficult to deal with throughout the History of Technology, but with proper protection, one does not need to worry nowadays for the safety of their PC.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this post, and until next time,