List of the Effects of Computer Viruses

by Naomi Bolton Images

The Internet has made it easier than ever for computer viruses to spread quickly via downloads and email. While some viruses cause mostly inconvenience, there are a few that are outright destructive, making it very important to have a secure anti-virus program installed on your computer and to avoid websites that are not trustworthy. Once a computer virus has infected your system, there are a few things that could happen – depending on the type of virus.


One of the primary purposes of a computer virus is to infect as many other systems as possible. In order to do this, the virus replicates itself by attaching to other files on your computer. A common method of spreading to other computers is by sending out email messages with a infected attachments to everyone in your address book. If you find that the free space on your computer is rapidly decreasing or people are receiving infected email from you, it is very possible that your computer has a virus.

Reduced Computer Performance

While computers can become slower over time due to the amount of available hard drive space decreasing, it is also possible for a virus to drastically reduce performance. The boot time of an infected computer is often much slower than usual and programs take much longer to launch as well. You might also notice an increase in crashes and freezes when working with the infected computer. It is also not uncommon for the infected computer to restart unexpectedly or display strange error messages.

Corrupted Data

The data on a computer that is infected by a virus often becomes corrupted. This is either through the virus attaching itself to files which renders these files unusable in the process or by maliciously destroying the data. Files or folders are either deleted outright or become inaccessible. When attempting to launch applications, you might receive error messages about the file not being found or not being valid. In some cases, this can lead to the operating system not starting due to missing or corrupted files.

Unusual Browser Activity

While pop-ups are on the Internet are normal, if you repeatedly receive the same ones no matter what Web page you are viewing it could be due to a virus. Once your computer is infected, the virus might also change your browser startup page to a website that contains other malicious code. The virus also sometimes blocks access to security websites with updates or information on how to remove it. These types of viruses often attempt to install further malware on your computer by displaying links – disguised as system messages – to software that will purportedly clean the infection.


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About the Author

Virtually growing up in a computer repair shop, Naomi Bolton has held a passion for as long as she can remember. After earning a diploma through a four year course in graphic design from Cibap College, Bolton launched her own photography business. Her work has been featured on Blinklist, Gameramble and many others.

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