Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

Computer Viruses

Computer viruses are a major downside to the computing experience. Their effects range from inconvenient to catastrophic. In an online learning environment, where file attachments are often shared, viruses have a good opportunity to proliferate. At PCC it is our policy to take every precaution to guard against viruses. Online students are required to have virus software and to keep it current.

Virus Prevention and Anti-virus Software Products

In this day and age it is extremely difficult to keep your computer system and data free of viruses. But you can go a long way to ensuring that you have at least taken the precautions to minimize your chances of getting infected. Remember, most viruses are harmless as long as they are caught and cleaned immediately. If you are careful, have current anti-virus software installed, know where your disks have been, and use common sense, then you will greatly reduce the likelihood of suffering a catastrophic loss due to a virus attack.

Definition of a Computer Virus

There are many definitions of computer viruses. Here is one:

A computer virus is a parasitic program written intentionally to enter a computer without the user’s permission or knowledge. The word parasite is used because a virus attaches to files or boot sectors and replicates itself, thus continuing to spread. Though some viruses do little but replicate, others can cause serious damage or affect program and system performance. A virus should never be assumed harmless and left on a system.

Anti-Virus Software

PCC’s IT department maintains a list of security software, including anti-virus software. You should check the list out if you don’t currently have any anti-virus software.