Types Of Computer Viruses
Without computer virus protection, most PC users run the risk of losing valuable data and having hard drives completely destroyed. A virus is defined as a computer program hidden usually within another program that reproduces itself and inserts copies into other programs which perform malicious actions, such as destroying data or hard drives. These types of computer viruses can spread from PC to PC via portable data storage media, such as floppy drives and USBs, transferred within a local area network or LAN, or inadvertently downloaded from the Internet. Similar to an infectious biological agent that grows and multiplies in living cells, an electronic viral agent is difficult to eradicate once it has invaded a system.
Just as health practitioners prescribe an antibiotic to stop infection in its tracks, computer virus protection software is the only surefire safeguard against most kinds of bugs. Antivirus programs scan a computer's memory and storage to identify, isolate and eliminate infectious agents before they can do any damage to a hard drive or file. Incoming files, especially transferred from one PC to another via e-mail, or downloaded from the Internet are scanned prior to opening. A good antivirus program alerts users to potentially deadly files and asks users' permission before downloading suspicious files. The damage viruses do to computers can be substantial enough to completely destroy a hard drive, causing users to lose valuable and irreplaceable data. From one PC, worms can destroy an entire network unless systems administrators install antivirus software.
While types of computer viruses can create mayhem and wreak havoc on corporate networks and individual workstations, sin in the life of a man or woman can cause pain, heartache and discouragement. The only solution is Jesus. "Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace" (Romans 6:12-14).
These types of computer viruses include a myriad of infectious programs named for every letter of the alphabet and so numerous that there is no room to list them all in this article. Each day, more programs are being written by hackers and unscrupulous programmers with twisted minds and misguided consciences who take pleasure in destroying electronic data, annihilating hard drives, and wreaking havoc in cyberspace. As a matter of fact, the prevalence of malicious and nuisance viruses throughout the globe has caused the federal government to enforce laws against writing and intentionally triggering harmful programs. Writing and willfully infecting computer systems with malicious and nuisance agents is a federal offense, punishable by law.
Initially some viruses were written by software manufacturers to prevent licensing abuses and bootleg copying. However, copycat hackers began writing malicious programs to infiltrate and destroy corporate and personal computer systems. The first reported agent was the Creeper, invented in the early 70s, which infected remote computers via dial-out modems. Known for its unlucky namesake, the Friday the 13th program, aka the Israeli or Jerusalem agent, earned its claim to fame over twenty years ago when detected on a PC at the University of Jerusalem. Its modus operandi is reportedly the ability to slow down a system and etch black rectangles on a portion of the screen. The Friday the 13th program is also triggered when the system reaches this date and reportedly will proceed to annihilate every other good program from the hard drive. Powerful computer virus protection is the only solution to combatting destructive programs.
Another well known program is the Trojan horse, which is usually found in personal computer systems. Similar to the Trojan horse of Greek mythology, but technically not a viral agent, this program reportedly appears innocent until users run an infected code. The Trojan horse rears its ugly head to ruin valuable data, halt a system's performance, or corrupt software. A Trojan horse could more appropriately be categorized as malware, or malicious software. Certain types of computer viruses and malware have the capability to not only damage expensive software programs, but also to reformat the hard drive or wipe out valuable files. Malicious viruses carry computer "bugs" which can result in system crashes if left undetected. Imagine how much damage a Trojan horse, worm, or malware can do to a corporate database! The stakes are high for agencies that must keep sensitive data and personal information safe and secure. Government installations, large conglomerates, institutions of higher learning, healthcare facilities, and financial institutions are all subject to invasion by malware.
Symptoms of infiltration include a frozen mouse, keyboard, screen, or interface; erratically copied documents; destroyed hard drives; deleted files; or lost data. Non-malicious viruses include adware which comes from Internet advertising. Commercial pop-ups sporadically appear and reappear and are difficult to close. Most PC users have experienced adware that won't go away and spyware that uses up memory and disrupts file transfers and data transmissions. Nuisance programs tie up memory, destroy functionality, and continue to self-duplicate until computer virus protection specifically designed to remove spyware and adware is installed.
Powerful computer virus protection is the only solution to detecting malware, spyware, and adware and either destroying it before it destroys a system, or preventing it from infecting files, hard drives or entire networks. Most popular antivirus software is reasonably priced and some programs can be downloaded free of charge online. Once antivirus protection and firewalls are installed, users can rest assured that sensitive systems and networks can resist infiltration from malware and hackers. Individual users and network administrators must guard against future infiltration by regularly installing updates, employing Internet security programs, and advising against downloading suspicious emails and visiting porno sites. A pristine PC can only remain healthy if users are diligent in monitoring and enabling antivirus programs to ward off malicious attacks.
Christian Internet FiltersFamily Internet filters became the topic of conversation between a husband and wife after one of the couple's children was found watching some questionable videos on one of the leading social interaction websites. While these videos were not sexual in nature but rather of violence, the ten year old had been introduced to the site by some friends at school on an overnight stay several weeks before this particular incident. The parents were committed to Christian faith and values and desired that their children be protected from unseemly kinds of influences for as long as possible. However, the parents welcomed the Internet as a wonderful place to gather information, be informed and entertained, but desired that the children's' travels down the Internet highway be safe and secure from its many dangers and temptations. Thus the research into family and Christian Internet filters for their children became a high priority.
Disturbing facts on children using the web are at the forefront of the development of family Internet filters. In the last year alone, one in five children has been solicited online by various forms of adult predators. These insidious monsters use the innocence of children, especially those who are alone at home after school and those who are having emotional difficulties that are common with adolescence. Young girls looking for the love they haven't gotten from a father are often easy prey for men who know exactly what to say to provoke interest. Consider also the incredible fact that nine out of ten children who have access to home computers have viewed pornography online accidentally while doing their homework. These are images that cannot be easily dismissed and can be burned into a memory for a long time.
Most family Internet filters offer some very similar kinds of services with major differences. To begin, most services offer a customized account for each member of the family. A one size fits all approach is not realistic for any family that wants to honor the advancement of maturity, wisdom, experience, education and spiritual maturity. Many of the Christian Internet filters services offer program controls to control or limit instant messaging and the time that a child spends online, along with what time of day a child may be online. These services can also provide a log of which websites were visited and send instant alerts to the office or other workplace through txt messages, phone call or email if someone visits an inappropriate site. For those parents who want to provide a child with some measured freedom tempered with large doses of guidance, the log of recent Internet activity can provide opportunities for parents to sit down and discuss the appropriateness (or not) of trips taken to certain websites. The best filtering services will also alert parents to names, phone numbers, addresses or school names that have been posted on social networking sites.
In most cases, family web filters will provide excellent protection for members of a family. However, Christian Internet filters are more sensitive to the philosophical creep of cultural values that have seeped into American society. For example, gambling can be blocked, or online card games or alcohol and tobacco use or certain health related issues or other sites considered too harmful by the Christian web filters and the parameters set up by parents. The ongoing battle for the spiritual control of young hearts and minds can be a very real concern not shared by all good and involved parents, and thus the difference between regular family Internet filters and Christian Internet filters. "And be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may be able to prove what is that good, and acceptable and perfect will of God." (Romans 12:2)
Christian Internet filters can often provide easy-to-find links for children to use in homework assignments such as many homeschooling websites. These filters can offer links, for example to creationist websites to help counter evolutionist teaching at school. Another distinction that these Christian services can offer is a self accountability feature when it comes to pornography. If a husband struggles with his thought life and even such things as swimsuit or lingerie pictures cause battles within him, the man's wife and he can together decide to end any Internet temptations and the wife can block her husband's access to general problem sites. A decision by the wife alone to take such action could become a very sensitive issue between them. Some filtering services go so far as to request a phone call by the primary installer of the filter to deactivate the service and attempts to delete calls actually result in the one deleting files is taken off the Internet till the issue is resolved! It should be stated that despite the help family Internet filters can provide some courses of action should be taken at home.
A family computer should always be set up in a high traffic area. The ability for parents to always be nearby to take a quick peek at what their children are viewing is very important. Whatever the agreed rules are for computer use are they should always be enforced. Stressing to children that any attempts by people trying to contact them by means of a chat room or a social networking site should be reported to mom and dad immediately should be part of the agreement. One president wisely said, "Trust but verify."