A computer virus or a computer worm is a malicious software program that can self-replicate on computers or via computer networks – without you being aware that your machine has become infected. Because each subsequent copy of the virus or computer worm can also self-replicate, infections can spread very rapidly. There are very many different types of computer viruses and computer worms – and many can cause high levels of destruction.
How Computer Viruses and Worms can impact you
The Viruses and Worms subclass of malicious software programs includes the following:
Most known computer worms are spread in one of the following ways:
Files sent as email attachments
Via a link to a web or FTP resource
Via a link sent in an ICQ or IRC message
Via P2P (peer-to-peer) file sharing networks
Some worms are spread as network packets. These directly penetrate the computer memory, and the worm code is then activated.
Computer worms can exploit network configuration errors (for example, to copy themselves onto a fully accessible disk) or exploit loopholes in operating system and application security. Many worms will use more than one method in order to spread copies via networks.
Viruses can be divided according to the method that they use to infect a computer:
Boot sector viruses
Any program within this subclass of malware can also have additional Trojan functions.
How to protect yourself against Computer Viruses and Worms
It’s recommended that you install anti-malware software on all of your devices – including PCs, laptops, Macs and smartphones – and that your anti-malware solution receives regular updates, in order to protect against the latest threats. A good anti-malware software product – such as Kaspersky Anti-Virus – will detect and prevent virus and worm infections on your PC, while Kaspersky Mobile Security is an excellent choice for protecting Android smartphones. Kaspersky Lab has products that protect the following devices:
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