Computer Virus

Updated Sept 29, 2020 · 3 min read

What is a computer virus?

A computer virus is a type of program that attaches itself to a computer and then replicates itself by modifying other programs and inserting malicious code. Computer viruses can infect computers, smartphones, tablets, and other types of devices.

Computer viruses are a type of malware (short for malicious software), which describes any software designed with malicious intent. Malware also includes ransomware, spyware, adware, and trojan horses. Computer viruses are designed with one of two general intents:

  • Destabilize a program or device to make it unusable.
  • Steal or corrupt data.

Computer viruses come in many forms and are categorized based on their intent. Some examples of viruses include ones that:

  • Hijack your web browser to steal data or change browser settings.
  • Infect and degrade your operating system.
  • Infiltrate your email address books.

Related Terms

Web Browsers

Web browsers (or “browsers”) are software applications used for accessing and viewing information on the internet.