What Is a Virus?

A virus is a type of malicious software that can infect computers, phones, and other electronic devices. It works by replicating itself on the device it has infected and then spreading to other connected devices. Viruses are usually spread through email attachments or downloads from websites, but they can also be spread via USB drives or even physical contact with an infected device. Once a virus has been installed on a computer system, it can cause all sorts of problems such as slowing down performance, corrupting data files, stealing personal information like passwords and credit card numbers, displaying unwanted pop-up ads or redirecting web browsers to malicious sites.

Viruses come in many different forms including worms which replicate themselves over networks without any user interaction; Trojans which disguise themselves as legitimate programs while secretly performing malicious activities; spyware which collects sensitive information about users without their knowledge; adware which displays intrusive advertisements; ransomware which encrypts important files until money is paid for its release; and rootkits which allow attackers to gain access to systems at the deepest level possible. The best way to protect yourself against viruses is by using antivirus software regularly and keeping your operating system up-to-date with security patches. Additionally you should avoid downloading suspicious emails or clicking links from unknown sources online as these could contain malware that will infect your machine if opened.

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