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August 7, 2009

A Computer virus is an unwanted program which copies itself and infects a computer without the knowledge of the user.A virus can spread from one computer to another computer over a network or the internet,or by carrying it on a removable medium such as floppy disk,CD or USB drive.

Some viruses are programmed to damage the computer by damaging programs,deleting files or reformatting the hard disk.Even these viruses can create problems for the computer user.
Virus Origin:
A computer virus passes from computer to computer like a biological virus passes from person to person.
A virus get attached on top of some other program or document.Once it is running,it can infect other programs or documents.
Virus History:
Computer viruses were first widely seen in the late 1980s.Virus start spreading because of several factors.The first factor was the spread of personal computer(PCs).During the 1980s real computers started to spread to businesses and homes because of the popularity of the IBM PC(released in 1982) and the Apple Macintosh (released in 1984).
Virus Evolution:
Virus creators learned new tricks.One important trick was the ability to load viruses into memory so they could keep running in the background as long as the computer remained on.Another trick was the ability to infect the boot sector on floppy disks and hard disks.The boot sector is a small program that is the first part of the operating system that the computer loads.It contains a tiny program that tells the computer how to load the rest of the operating system.
How to Protect your Computer from Viruses?
You can protect yourself against viruses with a few simple steps:
* UNIX is a more secure operating system,because the security features on these operating systems keep viruses away from your hard disk.
*  If you are using an unsecured operating system,then we have to install virus protection software in our machine.
* You can eliminate almost all of the risk from viruses,such as simply avoid programs from unknown sources like the Internet.
* You should never double-click on an e-mail attachment that contains an executable.Attachments that come in as Word files,spreadsheets,images etc.Some viruses can now come in through .JPG graphic file attachments.A file with an extension like EXE,COM or VBS is an executable,and an executable can do any sort of damage it wants.Once you run it,you have given it permission to do anything on your machine.The only protection is never to run executables that arrive via e-mail.
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