"Top Twelve Computer Virus Myths"

Computer Virus Myths ? Discover the truth about computer viruses!

Nowadays, viruses have become such a threat to modern computer systems. One of the reasons is because today's viruses are different in almost every way from what they were a few years ago. But most computer users aren't aware of these changes.

The followings are beliefs commonly held about viruses by the computer users, and all are myths.

1. My Computer Stopped - I Must Have a Virus.

If your computer stops, it could be because of a virus, but not necessary. It's in a virus's best interest to let the computer continue to operate so the virus can continue to use the computer to spread itself to other computers.

2. My Computer has Antivirus Software Installed; So My Computer is Free from Virus Infection.

Totally wrong. Today's viruses, worms, or trojan horses can sometimes elude detection by even the best antivirus software; and if your virus definitions are not up to date or 'real-time' mechanism is turned off or deactivated, your exposure is greatly magnified.

3. You'll know when your computer is infected by a virus

Modern viruses generate more cash for their creators every minute they remain on an infected computer; they will go to extreme measures to reduce the likelihood of detection.

4. Viruses Can Damage Computer Hardware

I should admit that virus's can cause your computer hardware problem but seldom damage it. For example, viruses may disable the serial or parallel ports and it reside inside your computer hard drive. In such cases, your computer may malfunction and operates abnormally.

5. The only attachments file formats that can hurt you are .exe filess

There are more than 40 file types, or extensions, that may contain or spread a virus; some of the most common today are .com, .doc, .eml, .exe, .pif, .reg, .jpg, .vbs, xls and .zip.

6. Viruses Can Hide inside Data Files

This is theoretically possible, but I have not heard of such a virus. Data files aren't executable, and viruses have to be executed!

You can found the macro viruses in Word and Excel documents, so if this is what you mean by data files, then you're correct. Other than this, generally viruses do not live inside data files.

7. Pictures Can Give You Computer Viruses

This is not true as pictures are just data files that are read by special programs. However, if you download pictures from the Internet, this is possible you get infected.

8. I Need More Than One Antivirus Program to Be Fully Protected

No, as long as you stick with one of the top or well-known brands of antivirus programs. However, all the antivirus program will release the virus definitions/signatures from time to time in order to catch the latest viruses. You MUST update those definitions to protect your PC.

9. You Can't Get a Virus from an Official Software CD

Most of the cases - Yes but it has happened that those software CD also get infected. To play safe, scan CDs for viruses before installing software from them.

10. If you've backed up your data, you don't need to worry about virus infection

The end result of a modern virus infection is far more extensive than deleted or corrupted files on your hard drive; confidential or sensitive files may have been compromised, with no obvious symptoms on the infected computer.

11. Antivirus Software Companies Create Viruses

I don't think so. The antivirus companies have enough business trying to eliminate viruses from our PC. But I can't deny that some small or new antivirus company might try this.

12. Some Countries Sponsor Virus Writers and Hackers

This one's actually true. Few countries do have state-sponsored hackers.

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