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Chapter 9. Protecting Your Data > Understanding Computer Viruses

Understanding Computer Viruses

In working with computers, you probably have encountered situations in which the computer didn't do what you wanted it to do. Frustrating as these situations can be, they simply represent a misunderstanding between you and your computer.

Computer viruses are quite different; viruses are supposed to do harm to your computer. Viruses are programs, written by unscrupulous programmers, designed to make copies of themselves and spread from one computer to another, just as a biological virus spreads in people. Usually, viruses also damage your computer by destroying legitimate data and programs. Creating a virus is against the law, but depraved programmers still spread viruses for the same reason that vandals throw bricks through windows—to cause senseless damage.


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