To those who spend hours on the Web, knowing the facts about Trojan viruses is a must. If you store personal info on your PC, learning to protect yourself from these programs is necessary.
Technically, these aren't viruses. These are actually programs / software. However their actions and purpose are the same as viruses. For average computer users, the definition isn't as important as knowing how to spot and eliminate them.
What the Viruses Can Do
Their activities are often called payloads or attacks. These are classified into different types. Remote attacks go after FTP or HTTP servers. They can interrupt downloading of files. These viruses can also interfere with server requests and other processes. These Trojan viruses can also hack into proxy servers.
Payloads aren't limited to networks. Once active they can destroy files on hard disks. Others will attack the boot system. Once this happens the PC won't be able to boot up. Others are able to get personal information and passwords. These are relayed to various sites via HTTP.
The Way the Virus Works
It's impossible to give a standard process. These are created by different programmers. They do share common characteristics though. The most important is that they operate in secret. Most of the time, users won't know it's been activated. Only when the Trojan viruses are doing their damage will it be apparent.
How the Viruses Get in a PC
One way is by downloading. A user downloads a game or other software. He or she is unaware that the virus is included in the software. When the game is run, the virus is installed with it.
Another way is through email. The virus is attached to the email. The user unknowingly opens it, infecting the computer. Often, the attachment is passed on to other users. The scenario repeats itself, and that's how it spreads.
Not to be discounted are pirate software. These come in DVD / CD or downloaded from the Web. Both sources are filled with Trojan viruses and other malware.
Get an antivirus application. Install it and download the updates regularly. Run a virus scan whenever you download software. Never turn it off when you are online. Run a full virus scan at least every week. An anti spyware program will also help. Use it in conjunction with your antivirus software.
Always back up your documents. It should be done weekly at the very least. If your system is infected, run the virus scanner first. Don't back them up until your computer has been cleared.
Never open an email attachment without scanning it. Don't just rely on the email service scanner. Run one yourself. Needless to say, you should never use pirated software. Never install Active X or Java applets from suspicious looking websites.
Always read up on the latest news about Trojan viruses. You can never be too careful when it comes to your files. Take all the necessary precautionary steps as suggested. This will keep your data safe.