Why Do Viruses Slow Down Computers?

Most people have virus protection installed on their computers. This is a great thing! Many of the virus protection programs around today protect computers against spyware and adware and all other known types of malware as well as viruses. This, too, is a great thing!

The word malware is the quick substitute word for the term “malicious software.” It refers to any type of virus or spyware that can get into your computer. Some years ago, the only kind of malware we had to deal with were computer viruses. The job of a computer virus was always to annoy computer operators to one extent or another.

A Nuisance and a Threat

Some viruses were simply written as jokes. A computer geek may actually write such a script to entertain himself. On the other hand, the purpose of a computer virus may be to kill your computer forever! Even worse the goal of a virus might be to shut down a large network of computers. This would usually be referred to as cyber-terrorism.

Spyware are closely aligned with viruses. The subtle difference is a person who writes a virus is out to do your computer harm. A person who writes spyware is usually out to steal your passwords, banking account numbers and the like. If he does harm to your computer’s operating system while doing so; oh well.

Stealing Your Power

Viruses and spyware slow down computers because they use the computer’s resources to do whatever it is they are doing. They are computer programs. Like all computer programs, some of them run on XP, some on Windows Vista, etc.

Unlike normal programs, they don’t have an icon on your desktop so you can start it up if you chose to. Viruses run on their own terms. You don’t have an option to shut them down either. Many viruses replicate themselves. So, if one computer virus program steals some of your resources, 50 of them, which could be one virus that has replicated itself 50 times, might put you out of business altogether.

Ubiquitous Spyware

I’ve seen spyware make computers unusable as well. Spyware by itself doesn’t replicate itself. However, it is not unheard of to find a spyware-unprotected PC with more than 1,000 spyware infections. With this much spyware present on a hard drive, the operating system will have all it can do to try to accommodate them. In a situation like this, you probably wouldn’t be able to start any of you programs, like Word or IE, for instance.

The bottom line is viruses and spyware have the capability of keeping your operating system and microprocessor busy to the point you will not get any response from your computer or at best, a very slow response. So, it is very important to keep your computer free of these things. I recommend using a good virus protection program that cleans out all types of spyware as well.

It is also very wise to have a registry cleaner on hand as well. From what I’ve seen, registry corruption has slowed down more computers than anything else. There is nothing malicious about it. It simply occurs from normal use and tends to make computers very sluggish.

Spyware, Viruses, Malware, Worms, Trojan Horses, and Adware: Symptoms, Solutions, and Prevention

Virus:

A Virus or Computer Virus is a self-replicating program or piece of script or code that make copies of itself and then either attaches itself to an existing file on the infected system or store copies of itself on the system with innocuous sounding names like ‘repair tool’.

The virus is limited to spread itself only by either being transmitted or sent by an unwitting user or carried on a portable storage medium from one system to another. However, if a virus gets embedded somewhere on a network drive then anyone who opens or clicks on the infected document or file can end up getting infected as well.

Spyware:

Spyware is software that gathers information about a users Internet habits, browsing patterns, email passwords, usernames and even credit card information, in essence, ‘spying’ on the hapless user. This type of software usually gets installed without the knowledge of the user and can transmit the collected data to a third party over the Internet secretly as well.

Malware:

Malware can refer to any number of malicious forms of software or code that has been intentionally designed to perform one or more of the following malicious acts:

> Infiltrate a users computer system without their consent.

> Gather sensitive personal information such as credit card numbers, social security numbers, birth dates, or system passwords.

> Create back doors or remote entry points to allow hackers access to the system.

> The destruction of critical data and/or corruption of system files.

Malware is a general term and is commonly used to include, Viruses, Worms, Spyware, Trojan Horses, and some forms of Adware. The actual intention of malware can vary but by definition it is any software that is destructive by nature. Because the term Malware is so broad it is hard to cite one specific source for the most infections.

Worm:

A Worm or Computer Worm is a self-replicating piece of computer code that uses a computer network to spread copies of itself to the other nodes on the network. Unlike the Virus a Worm can accomplish this without any intervention or help from the user. Also unlike a Computer Virus the Worm does not have to attach itself to an existing computer program or file.

Many times a Worm will also be used to carry a ‘payload’. The ‘payload’ is code that is designed to perform some specific function. In some cases the payload allows the Worm to send documents through the email accounts of the infected system attaching itself and its payload to the email as an attachment. When the unsuspecting recipient of the email opens the attachment the process starts again.

Trojan Horse:

A Trojan or Trojan Horse Virus is a program that usually gets downloaded installed and executed on a computer system which then appears to be performing some useful function but is unknowingly allowing unauthorized access to the user’s computer system at the same time.

Hackers use Trojans to gain access to a user’s computer remotely and then perform any number of malicious activities. These nefarious activities can include but certainly are not limited to:

> Data Theft.

> Keystroke Logging.

> Downloading or Uploading Files.

> Viewing the Victims Screen.

> Crashing the Users System.

Adware:

Adware is advertiser supported software that displays, plays or downloads advertisements either onto the computer desktop or into the computers web browser as a condition of the software installation. Most Adware is free to use as long as you don’t mind annoying pop-up windows appearing at random intervals advertising some product or another. I have seen some Adware that opened a new window about every 1 to 2 minutes, making it nearly impossible to use the system at all until the software had to be removed.

Additionally, Adware will almost always be collecting data about your Internet habits and browsing behavior to tailor ads specifically to best match the data recovered. In that respect it is actually very similar to many types of Spyware. In most cases Adware is simply a way to place advertisements in the face of the user although it’s a fine line before you could also classify it as Spyware.

With Adware however, in some cases you may actually be given a chance to review and choose whether or not to accept the terms and conditions associated with the software before installing it.

IT WOULD BE ADVISABLE TO READ THESE TERMS VERY CAREFULLY BEFORE CHOOSING TO ACCEPT.

Symptoms of Infection:

> Very sluggish computer performance.

> Random system lockups or crashes.

> Browser redirection – you are taken to websites you were not searching for while browsing the Internet.

> Excessive number of popup windows appearing at random while surfing the Internet.

> You are informed that your system has ‘hundreds’ of active infections and you are redirected to a website that insists you pay for and download their specific software package to remove the infections.

Solution:

There are many good anti-virus / anti-spyware products on the market designed to detect and remove these types of infections. McAfee and Kapersky are good but AVG and Avast! have similar products and offer a free downloadable version. Be sure to complete a ‘Full’ system scan and quarantine and remove all active infections. Configure your anti-virus software to perform ‘active’ scanning or real-time system monitoring.

Prevention:

> Do not install software you have downloaded from the Internet unless it has come from a known, reliable source.

> Use caution if using file sharing platforms such as LimeWire or torrent sites to download files.

> Do not open any email attachments from unknown sources.

> Use a good anti-virus/anti-spyware application and scan your system at least weekly. Be sure your anti-virus software is totally up to date with the latest virus definitions.

> For Windows users: Be sure to visit the Microsoft update site and download all the latest Microsoft security patches.

Computer Protection – Viruses and Spyware

All computers in this world are prone to various virus attacks. Therefore, all computers need to have their own security systems to protect themselves against any such harmful attacks. Computers require certain software that acts as security software and does the task of virus scan and protect the computers against spyware. Computers also need security from worms, Trojan horses, key loggers, or hackers that may steal the confidential financial information such as credit card numbers and internet passwords.

To protect your computer against any virus attack or the dangers of the spyware, computers must have some sort of antivirus software. Anti virus programs will ensure that your computer scans any material that is downloaded on your computer. If there is any virus present in the document or the program, the antivirus prompts the you to either clean the document or not to open it or download it. If the computer contains a firewall, it functions in a similar manner for the purpose of virus protection. The presence of anti spyware ensures that spyware is also detected and appropriate actions taken to protect your computer. Spyware is a program that gets installed on the computers without you realizing it. In a way, it is more dangerous than the viruses and therefore the spyware remove option must also be enabled in any spyware removal program that is installed on your computer.

In order to protect your computer against attacks from viruses or spyware the necessary precautions must be taken as soon as the computer is installed. You must collect information about the possible virus attack and install appropriate anti virus software. Along with the anti virus software you must learn about the dangers of spyware and install anti spyware software on your computers.

A website that provides sufficient information about the different types of viruses and spyware programs is Internet Safety Center. The Website provides education about ways to protect computers against any possible virus or spyware attacks and recommends proactive solutions. The solutions may be in the form of some precautionary steps that you must take when installing a computer or certain security software that must be installed along with other software at the initial stage.