What are the worst things that a virus can do to your computer?

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If you’ve spent any time around computers, then you’ll know how important antivirus software is. Viruses harm your PC, slow it down, and otherwise disable it from doing what it is supposed to do. However, what are some of the worst things that a virus actually does to your computer?

Well, some of the worst things that a virus, rootkit, or other form of malware can do to your PC are open up security holes, which basically allow anybody with the wrong intentions to access, alter, and take control of your computer. After opening up a security hole, a virus may do any one of the following things to your PC:

Steal your information: Once a virus gets into your computer, it can dig around and find your personal information. Basically, anything that you had once saved on your computer is now compromised. If you have banking information, credit card numbers, or online account passwords saved into a .doc file somewhere on your hard drive, that piece of malware may be able to root it out. Once somebody finds this information, they can ruin your life in so many different ways.

Use your computer’s processing power to hack other computers: Some encryption keys are incredibly difficult to crack. In fact, even with the massive speed of today’s computers, a long, alphanumeric password could take years for a computer to crack. For that reason, viruses will sometimes hijack your computer to make it part of a network of thousands of computers around the world. Using the combined processing power of all these units, hackers can easily tackle firewalls and security checks that would normally be unbreakable.

Host illegal activity: Similar to the previous tip, some viruses will even take over your computer’s bandwidth in order to remotely host scams, pornography, or other illegal activities on the internet. These bandwidth thieves can often be difficult to track, and may only be noticeable if you see that your internet speed is lagging. Malware like this may also automatically redirect your browser every time you try to search something in Google, or go to a popular website like Facebook.

Install a keylogger to monitor your activity: Think of everything that you type in during a standard day at your computer. Passwords, e-mails, instant messaging conversations, and more will all be monitored if somebody installs a keylogger on your computer. While most viruses don’t do this, if your computer is being specifically targeted, it is possible that this could happen.

Of course, all of the above problems are easily avoidable if you use an antivirus program. Cheap, effective, and easy to use, a good antivirus program will eliminate all of these threats.

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