What is a virus? A virus is a program that can enter a computer system in many ways. These programs are special in that they can produce unwanted or damaging effects on infected machines. Once a virus has managed to enter a system, it will situate itself in places where it can be unintentionally run by the user. A virus will not act until it has been run or until a certain pre-established condition has been met. In some cases, the effects produced by a virus, something known as the virus payload, will not be seen for some time after it has infected the computer.
Viruses have many different effects on a PC. Some are harmless, they simply exist to spread, causing no damage. Some however can compromise your security by emailing out your documents to people in your address book. Some even wipe your hard disk!
New viruses are appearing every day, each more cunningly written than the last. Although not all are destructive they are an inconvienence and still need to be removed.
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