Computer Virus Definition & Meaning

A computer virus is a program or piece of code that is loaded onto your computer without your knowledge and runs against your wishes. Viruses can also replicate themselves. All computer viruses are man-made.

A Virus Can Be Easy to Produce

A simple virus that can make a copy of itself over and over again is relatively easy to produce.Even such a simple virus is dangerous because it will quickly use all available memory and bring the system to a halt. An even more dangerous type of virus is one capable of transmitting itself across networks and bypassing security systems.

Since 1987, when a virus infected ARPANET, a large network used by the Defense Department and many universities, many antivirus programs have become available. These programs periodically check your computer system for the best-known types of viruses.

Some people distinguish between general viruses and worms. A worm is a special type of virus that can replicate itself and use memory, but cannot attach itself to other programs.

Recommended Reading: The Difference Between a Computer Virus, Worm and Trojan Horse

Vangie Beal
Vangie Beal
Vangie Beal is a freelance business and technology writer covering Internet technologies and online business since the late '90s.

Top Articles

The Complete List of Text Abbreviations & Acronyms

From A3 to ZZZ we list 1,559 text message and online chat abbreviations to help you translate and understand today's texting lingo. Includes Top...

How to Create a Website Shortcut on Your Desktop

This Webopedia guide will show you how to create a desktop shortcut to a website using Firefox, Chrome or Internet Explorer (IE). Creating a desktop...

Windows Operating System History & Versions

The Windows operating system (Windows OS) refers to a family of operating systems developed by Microsoft Corporation. We look at the history of Windows...

Hotmail [Outlook] Email Accounts

By Vangie Beal Hotmail was one of the first public webmail services that could be accessed from any web browser. Since 2011, Hotmail, in terms...

Data Corruption Definition &...

Data corruption is the process of data becoming unreadable or invalid. It typically...

Subschema Definition & Meaning

A subschema is a database view that filters or organizes all data to...

Fileless Malware Meaning &...

Fileless malware is a type of malicious software that uses legitimate applications already...