I have always been fascinated with viral beings, those invisible threats that make me sick all the time(as I am a very sensible human being!). It’s so frustrating to see the results(the illness) and not to be able to see the cause(the virus)!!!
When I found out that computers get sick too I said to myself :” I need to find a way to protect my computer from those naughty viruses!!!I cannot let my computer stay in bed for a week and feed him chicken soup until he get’s better!!!”
At that time I was just a little girl and I believed that the antivirus is somehow an universal cure for computer viruses. Soon after that I found out that, in computer world as in real life, there is no such thing as an universal medicine.
Enough about me!Let’s talk a little bit about viruses!!

First of all, what is a computer virus? Simply put, it’s a program that replicates itself.During that process it might also do something else, that damages your computer. But not every piece of program that harms a program is a virus. Anyone could write a program that earases some important file, for example, but that would happen only if the program is executed. So, when I see that the program does something bad, I erase it and nothing else bad happens.

The key aspect about viruses is that they reproduce themselves without the permision of anybody.Tipically, a computer virus attaches itself or rides on the back of another program in order to facilitate reproduction.These copies of the program may later be executed to create more copies, ad infinitum.

Still, the term “virus” is a misnomer. It was used for the first time in 1985 by Fred Cohen in his graduate thesis, in which he approached the subject of self-reproducing software and its ability to harm security systems. We use today the same term to describe bad programs, because it’s a natural way, also very intuitive. There were some proposals for alternative naming, like “living programs” or “self-reproducing automaton” but the initial term was already out there and people got used to it.
If you’re not much into the IT industry you might confuse viruses with other malware. It’s true, virus is also a generic term which includes all the harmfull software that we can possibly imagine.To be more accurate, use instead the term “malware” so that you can diferentiate between viruses, trojan horses, worms and other types of computer harming software.
To conclude, a virus is a program that replicates ad infinitum and usualy does something bad to your computer, while reproducing or at a different time, as planned(by the programmer which created it).

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