Viruses Past and Present

Computer viruses have been around for a long time. The first virus is thought to have been released in 1982. Ever since this first virus, there have been thousands of different releases of computer viruses.

What is a Virus?

A virus is a malicious computer program which can replicate itself. It's created to change what your computer does. Viruses can be contracted without your permission and you might not know anything about the infection until you run a virus scan.

The First Virus

The first virus, which was released in the wild and affected normal computers, was created in 1982. There were previous viruses created before this time but these were never released from the labs where they were written.

This first virus attacked Apple Dos 3.3 and was spread by disks. This virus was written by Rich Skrenta.

The First PC Virus

The first virus to attack PCs was called ©Brain and it was released in 1986. This was a boot sector virus written by brothers from Pakistan. Apparently the reason for this computer virus was to prevent people pirating their software.

Spread Of Viruses

Before networks were common place, viruses would spread on floppy disks. This was made easy because people commonly shared information on floppy disks. These computer viruses emerged in the 80's.

Computer viruses became much more widespread throughout subsequent years. Thanks to networks and the internet the spread of viruses was made easier.

Modern Viruses

There are lots of different types of viruses. Macro viruses became extremely common during the 90's. These are very easy to write as they are normally written using tools included with office applications. These macro viruses are dangerous because they can affect multiple platforms. Microsoft Office is available on Mac OS too, and this means that the viruses can spread easily.

Computer viruses are often spread using instant messenger clients. Many IM clients are being used to send links and software to people. If anyone clicks on these links or downloads the software then their computer might become infected.

Cross-Site scripting viruses are the newest breed of virus. This type of virus was demonstrated academically in 2005. It is spread by exploiting cross-site scripting problems. These viruses have been responsible for affecting some very well known sites including Yahoo and Myspace.

Viruses can now affect every computer platform including Mac OS, Windows and Linux. Linux viruses are becoming a major problem for anyone using the operating system.

There are lots of viruses available on the internet. Computer viruses are becoming more common every year. It's very important that you update your virus scanner on a regular basis to ensure your computer is fully protected.

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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.