Did you know that the first computer virus was called The Creeper? In the early 70’s, two computer scientists named Bob Thomas and Ray Tomlinson created two Creeper viruses – one that couldn’t self replicate and one that could. In order to remove these viruses from their network, Tomlinson then created the first ever Anti-Virus Software called, “The Reaper” (PC Insider).
What is a Computer Virus?
Exploring the background of the widely available anti-virus program we see that it was created to combat the ever-growing threat of malicious actions on the web. The 80’s and 90’s saw the emergence of the anti-virus for business owners and in the home, but the 2000s saw it evolve into a necessity for any PC user.
So, what exactly is a computer virus? Much like an actual virus, they are designed to attach and spread themselves across hosts. The aim here is to disrupt systems and cause operational issues, like data loss and leakage. They can cause minor (but very annoying) issues like pop-up windows and email account hijacking – or more serious problems, like ransomware and theft of personal information. If you happen to notice any odd behavior from your computer after surfing the internet without protection, you could have a computer virus.
How Might I Become Infected?
Viruses used to attack through floppy disks and other physical, peripheral devices, but since the inception of the web they have started invading through wireless devices as well. They can spread from infected code in data packets that you inadvertently allow into your network. It cannot do all of this by itself, it needs a victim to open the program or data it has infected to execute its payload.
Viruses have also evolved to fill a niche in the modern world. They are more complex and devious than ever today. Everyone dreads ransomware and for good reason, it can be detrimental to your business. Trojans are another form of virus that look like the program you want but turn out to be something much more nefarious once it is executed.
How Can I Protect Myself?
There are several ways to protect yourself from threats like these. First, just be cautious and ask questions if you aren’t sure of something. Our business hours are the same as yours, pick up the phone and reach out to us if something looks suspicious. Second, you can scan your files by using a file sharing program. Be careful, because some unofficial sites can also be used to spread malware. Third and more obviously, you will want to have an anti-virus installed on your computer.
Having an antivirus through a respected cyber security company is an invaluable resource in the fight against cyber-crime. Anti-virus software works by scanning specific files on your computer for malicious activity, and it does all the behind the scenes work so you don’t have to worry. That isn’t to say that it is a completely hands off experience, anti-viruses still need to be monitored.
Can Techno Advantage Help?
Let us monitor your system’s anti-virus software! Our solution uses a SOC (Security Operations Center) to keep an eye on your anti-virus activity 24/7, 365 days a year. The SOC monitors that activity and, if it notifies us of anything suspicious, we make the decision to remove the threat based on our knowledge of your network and user habits. This might sound costly or dramatic – but when someone tries to hack a system through ransomware at 5am, the SOC may quickly prove its worth.
You may prefer to manage your own anti-virus software, and any paid subscription anti-virus from a trusted vendor is better than no protection at all. Anti-viruses start at various price points, and they all offer something a little bit different. Premium products will get you features like secure online storage, ad blockers and file encryption!
Of course if you have any questions at all, feel free to Contact Us! We are always happy to help you manage your network’s security – whether you find your own antivirus provider, or you hand that honor over to us and our SOC. Network Protection is our Priority!