Viruses are malicious computer programs that can spread to other files.

Viruses can have harmful effects such as displaying irritating messages, stealing data, or giving hackers control over your computer.

Viruses can attach themselves to other programs or hide in code that runs automatically when you open certain types of files. Sometimes they can exploit security flaws in your computer’s operating system to run and spread automatically.

You might receive an infected file in a variety of ways, including via an email attachment, in a download from the Internet, or on a USB drive.

(See Parasitic viruses, Email malware distribution, Internet worm, Malware)

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