Quick Facts

Introduction to Viruses

  1. What is a computer virus?
  2. What kind of files can spread viruses?
  3. How do viruses spread?
  4. What do viruses do to computers?
  5. Virus Hoaxes

The Importance of Back Ups

Defining the Value of Information Security

Artistic Value

It's the Principle that Counts

Value Squared

Reaching the CEO's

They Just Want to Run Their Business

What do viruses do to computers?

Viruses are software programs, the actual effect of a virus depends on how it was programmed by the person who wrote the virus.

Some viruses are designed to overwrite boot sectors and interfere with your computer's operation (boot viruses), others damage your computers memory operation then try and spread themselves around by picking up e-mail or network addresses off your computer (worm viruses). Still others will wipe files from the hard drive and destroy system files (Trojan viruses) and finally there are ones that infect document files, electronic spreadsheets and databases of several popular software packages (Macro viruses).

Viruses generally do not do any damage to hardware: they won't melt down your CPU, burn out your hard drive, cause your monitor to explode, etc. Warnings about viruses that will physically destroy your computer are usually hoaxes, not legitimate virus warnings.