The Most Vicious Viruses in History

Not all computer programmers are nice and kind. Some computer programmers write viruses. A computer virus is simply a malicious program which is designed to cause harm to the information stored on your computer or to the computer itself. However, not all computer viruses are actually dangerous.

What is a Virus?

Some viruses are a pain but not really that lethal. The simple definition of a virus is that it does something that your computer is not normally supposed to do. This could be as simple as showing a dialog box or various other things.

What the virus is capable of will depend on what it was actually designed to do. There are a number of viruses and all of these will work in a slightly different way. One well known virus is called I-ray. This virus works by copying and replicating files on your computer. Although this doesn't initially cause a problem, after a while it could potentially crash your computer.

Spyware

When talking about vicious viruses many people fail to mention spyware. Although spyware does not always cause that much harm to your computer, it does put your information at risk. If you have spyware on your computer then it could mean your identity is at risk.

Spyware and Adware are perhaps the most common types of viruses which spread through the internet. Although these don't cause that much harm to your computer, they can cause your security to be compromised.

Adware can also make the internet very slow for your computer and can leave your children exposed to unsavory adverts.

Adware will cause popup windows to appear on your computer. Browser hijackers can also change the homepage of your web browser. This might not be a problem, but if you try to change it back you may not be able to. This can be very frustrating when trying to surf the internet.

Famous Viruses

There are a number of very famous viruses which caused many thousands of dollars worth of damage on computers all around the world. Some of these are:

Blaster Worm

The Blaster Worm struck in 2003. It affected Computers running Windows XP, NT and Server 2003. This worm was very dangerous because it was able to spread and infect computers so quickly. It could identify any machine which was vulnerable and then infect it.

The main aim of the virus was to attack the Microsoft Windows update site. It also caused many computers to reset on a regular basis which frustrated users. The worm managed to spread to half a million computers. It was considered such a threat that Microsoft offered a $250,000 reward for information.

Melissa

Melissa was a dangerous virus which struck in 1999. It spread through word document attachments. The virus wasn't really that damaging although it did replicate itself if you used Outlook Express.

This caused a lot of damage to companies as it was the first virus which was capable of spreading through email. The virus is thought to have caused over $80 million in damage.

Melissa was created by David Smith and he was arrested just a week after Melissa had been released.

Viruses are dangerous and you must protect your computer from them. Ensure that you install a reliable antivirus scanner so your computer doesn't suffer from virus problems.

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Identity theft comes in many forms.

A person\92s identity can be 'borrowed' for the purpose of creating fictional credit cards or a person\92s entire identity can be usurped to the point where they can have difficulty proving that they really are who they claim to be.

Up to 18% of identity theft victims take as long as four years to realize that their identity has been stolen.

There are many ways to protect your personal identity and many steps you can take to prevent your identity from being stolen:

*Never give out unnecessary personal information
*Never provide bank details or social security numbers over the Internet
*Always remain aware of who is standing behind you when you type in your personal credit codes at ATM machines and at supermarket checkout swipe machines.