Have you ever had the displeasure of having your computer infected with a virus? I have, and it is not a fun experience. Here is what happened to me.
I grabbed my morning cup of coffee and turned on my computer just like I do every single morning. I took my first sip of my morning coffee and waited for my computer to spring to life. That first sip of morning coffee is always the best. One big whiff of that wonderful aroma and I was ready to face my computer, but the computer screen looked a little different this morning. Instead of the usual welcome screen, I was greeted with a big blue error screen. I took another sip of my coffee, and powered off my computer. I turned it back on and waited for it to boot up. I was greeted with the same blue error screen again. I repeated this same routine for around five minutes hoping to get a different result, but unfortunately it was the same result every single time.
My computer wasn’t working, and I had no idea why. Luckily for me, I have a friend who is a complete and total computer nerd. He has been building computers his whole life. I quickly gave him a call and told him what was happening. His response to me was it sounds like your computer may be infected with the virus. A virus? How could my computer be infected with a virus? I didn’t download anything. My friend told me that my computer can become infected from something as simple as browsing the Internet. I had no idea that this could happen, and of course today was the day of the big board meeting. Can you guess where my presentation was? My presentation was being stored on my computer that was no longer working. This meant that I had no presentation for my big meeting. This is not good news.
Again, I was lucky to have a friend that knew so much about computers. He came right over to my house and fixed my computer just in time. Now my computer was working again and I had access to my presentation for the big board meeting. He told me that he would only help me this one time. He also told me to purchase some antivirus software. His suggestion was to use one of the products from Trend Micro, and that is exactly what I did first thing that evening.
This was a very mild situation. Things could have been much, much worse. Not all viruses are designed to erase data on a computer. Some of them are designed to steal information from a computer. I use my computer for work. The wrong virus could easily have been spread through every computer where I work. The wrong virus could have also stolen any sensitive personal information from my computer.
I knew that computer viruses existed, but I never thought that I would get one on my own machine. I was always extremely careful with everything I downloaded, but as it turns out, viruses don’t always have to be downloaded. In my case, it was a simple website that infected my computer and caused the problems.