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28 August 2014
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Oh No, I've got a virus

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 a virus.
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 possible.

key point 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.


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