Have you ever opened an email attachment from someone you don't recognise
or downloaded a program from a source you don't know?
If you have, the chances are that your computer could be infected by
But this is not the only way your computer can catch an infection!
Search engines on the web are a good
starting point for finding information about
computer viruses. Some good ones are:
Please note that the BBC is not responsible
for the content of other websites.
What is a virus?
A virus is a small piece of software, maliciously created, which embeds
itself into a program. Each time the program runs the virus will be activated
and, depending on how it was made, will infect other files, programs and
could, in a worst case scenario, cause your computer to crash completely.
It is called a virus because like the human variety the infection can
be spread to other computers and it will try to infect as many files as
||Not all viruses will cause your
computer to crash - some are just irritating.
Others can corrupt data, like changing numbers on a spreadsheet.
Go to the next screen to have a look at different types of infections.