So what exactly are viruses, anyways? Everyone has the image of them being little creepazoids living inside your computer like in today’s picture, eating away at the internal components slowly. In actuality, they are piece of code that can vary in purposes ranging from playing a small joke to stealing passwords to turning your computer into a mindless zombie (Robot Zombie Apocalypse, anyone?)
Viruses, unlike computer bugs, are written with intent, and in some cases, malice, to disrupt work flow or secretly steal information. They inherit their name from the biological term “Virus” which is defined as a self-replicating organism found in the living cells of other organisms. Besides the nickname, the only trait they share is their ability to self-replicate. Once a virus has infected your machine, it will immediately find ways to spread itself, either through your email address book, SFTP websites you have direct access to, your home network, instant messenger, or even your flash drive!