History of Computer Viruses:

Anyone that owns a computer dreads the words "Computer Virus." A computer virus is a damaging program that gets into your system, replicates itself and continues to do damage. There are many ways that a computer virus can get into your system and there are just as many ways that a computer virus can do its damage.

The First Computer Viruses:

The first known computer virus was written in 1982 by a man named Rich Skrenta. This virus was termed Elk Cloner, and was the first computer virus to show up outside of the computer it was created in. Elk Cloner worked by attaching itself to the Apple DOS operating system and was spread to other computers by means of a floppy disk.

The next well known computer virus was a PC virus called Brain. This virus was a boot sector virus that was created by two brothers Basit and Amjad Farooq Alvi in 1986. Basit and Amjad claim to have not created this virus to intentionally infect other operating systems, but instead claim that they had created the virus and attached it to software they had written in order to prevent pirated copies of their work from being created.

How Viruses Began to Spread:

Before the Internet became so widely accessible, computer viruses were generally spread through means of hardware, like floppy disks or other removable media. Though it's hard to imagine now, people used to exchange a lot of information on floppy disks regularly, since most people did not have access to the Internet to share files. If a floppy disk was infected, it could easily spread around pretty quickly. Many of these viruses spread by attaching themselves to information and programs that were stored on these floppy disks. Other viruses were already on the disks and installed themselves onto the operating system when the disk was booted up.

As the Internet became more widely used and technology became more advanced, computer viruses continued to grow and become more common. Most computer virus threats these days come in the form of information transferred on the Internet, such as downloadable files and emails. There are even viruses that can be spread through instant messaging programs.

How to Stop Viruses:

Fortunately, as computer virus technology continues to grow, so does the technology for anti-virus systems. With proper anti-virus software in place, such as Norton Antivirus, NOD32 Antivirus, or Kaspersky Antivirus, most people never have to deal with the damage that a computer virus can cause. Computer viruses can be extremely annoying and damaging to those they infect, and history has shown us they can cause a great deal of damage very quickly. Hopefully someday, computer viruses will be a thing of the past, and only be found in the history books...

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