A computer virus is a malicious software program that runs against the wishes of the computer owner after being loaded without that owner's knowledge. Depending on how the software code that runs the virus program was written, the virus can also duplicate itself many times over. Even if simply duplicating itself is all a virus does, the virus can cause problems because it will quickly use up the host computer's memory and, thus, slow that computer to a crawl or freeze it completely. Other types of viruses are more complicated and are able to move across networks, even if there are security systems in place. Sophisticated viruses can cause serious damage to a computer by altering files and/or deleting the contents of a computer's hard ...

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