Viruses are also known as malware (malignment+software). A computer virus is software that has been written to intentionally disrupt the normal functioning of a computer. Viruses cause massive disruptions and cost huge amounts of money in terms of loss of data, loss of productivity, anti-virus measures and solutions.

Trojan Virus

A virus which is disguised as something useful, like a computer game. When the game is installed/opened, the virus executes its “payload “, infected the host computer.

Worm Virus

A worm virus is designed to spread itself over a network such as a LAN.


A ransomware virus encrypts the data on the host machine. A demand for money (a “ransom”) is made. It is usually demanded in cryptocurrency which cannot be traced.

Prevention is better than cure, but…

Before going any further it is important to note that viruses are a very real threat and there is no guaranteed method of avoiding the threat entirely. It is therefore vitally important to correctly back up your data on a regular basis.

Protecting against malware

The first line of defence is your own common sense.

Correctly configured anti-virus software is essential as is a firewall.

Question time

A common question asked requires you to compare a computer virus to a software bug, or differentiate between the two.

Computer VirusSoftware Bug
Created intentionally by a criminalCreated by mistake by a programmer
Disrupts normal functions & even deletes/corrupts data or damages hardwareUsually just results in the malfunctioning of the software

By MisterFoxOnline

CAT Educator

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