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Chapter 5. Securing Your Home Network > Protecting Against Viruses

Protecting Against Viruses

Computer viruses are possibly the biggest security threat to your computer. A virus is a small program that sneaks onto a computer, performs some devious task, such as deleting or renaming files, and then spreads to other computers by creating copies of itself. Although viruses have been around almost as long as computers themselves, the Internet has provided them with a new and efficient way to spread.

For example, Trojan horses are viruses disguised as normal programs. They have become a popular technique to trick users into unleashing viruses on their computers. Typically a Trojan horse arrives on a computer as an e-mail attachment that appears to be a harmless file or program. Once opened or run, the virus is activated and can wreak havoc on the victim’s computer.


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