What happens if you don’t remove a virus from your computer? Depending on the type of the virus the consequences can be mild, such as high CPU usage to severe – a complete theft of your online identity. Find out more in this article.
What is a computer virus?
A virus is a piece of malicious software that installs itself on your computer either by tricking you, or completely without your consent. A virus has malignant, unwanted behavior and can cause the victim severe pain and heavy losses.
How many types of computer viruses are there?
There are several types of viruses and their respective combinations.
- Bitcoin miners – these types use your computer’s resources to mine bitcoin for their owners. Characterized by high CPU usage. Mild inconvenience.
- Trojans – these viruses allow attackers to control your PC remotely. The remote attacker obtains complete administrative access to your computer. They can connect your computer to other infected PCs forming botnets, or install more malicious software with other functionality.
- Credit Card thieves – these will scan your computer for credit cards and banking passwords.
- Account thieves – these will steal your Facebook account or your World of Warcraft account. They will hack into your GMail searching for sensitive data.
- Spam relays – these will turn your computer into a spam relay, sending thousands of unsolicited commercial emails, containing ads about penis enlargement and Russian brides.
- Proxies – they will turn your computer into a proxy for malicious traffic. Hackers will use your IP to present themselves as legit users, spamming forums, hacking websites, spreading child pornography, all behind your IP. You will find out when the police knock on your door.
- Ransomware – this one encrypts your hard drive and asks for money to decrypt it. Highly destructive. Very annoying.
- Adware – they will bomb you with all kinds of ads while you use your PC and you won’t know where they came from. Very annoying.
- Keylogger – this one will record all keys that you click on your keyboard or with your mouse. Excellent at stealing sensitive data.
- Worms – worms copy themselves over the network to infect more vulnerable PCs. Highly contagious.
What happens if you don’t remove a virus from your computer?
If you have read the previous section, you have a good idea about the consequences. A virus may exhibit more than one type of unwanted behavior. For example, you may find that your credit card has been drained, your Facebook account stolen, you have sent many spam messages to your colleagues and the police are accusing you of spreading child pornography.
Of course, you may end up with constant high CPU usage and nothing else for a long time. In which case your PC will be unusable and you will reinstall Windows to regain control.
The consequences can be severe to mild. I haven’t suffered a virus for longer than a couple of hours. I deal with infections swiftly and without mercy and I advise you to do the same.
To prevent viral infections, keep your PC updated always. Checkout my other article Are Windows 11 updates known to cause issues with PCs?
Post your experience with viruses in the comments. Do you deal with infections quickly? What is your favorite antivirus? Do you have a special someone who takes care of computer security? If you like this article, share it!