Computers getting affected by viruses is not an unknown phenomenon. Viruses are the result of unwanted actions by some nasty hackers. Among humans, protection from viral attacks is usually through immunization programmes. Similarly, for protecting computers from unwanted viral attacks, they have to be installed with anti-virus software which detects a virus on your computer. There are many anti-virus software applications available in the market like Norton Anti Virus, Kaspersky and McAfee which are popular.
How does a virus infect the computers?
The most common virus entering your PC is via the e-mail attachments. Upon downloading the attachments that are normally EXE files and saving them a code gets released which infects your computer. The viruses can access your private information like credit card numbers, passwords etc and transmit it to the sender who can use the information to render your hard drive beyond repair and useless.
Browsing through a virus-infected website is another way. The virus enters your computer through the Internet and infects it.
What does anti-virus software do?
Anti-virus software simply detects the intruder and tries to set it right. The first action done by anti-virus software is deleting the file before it gets saved on your hard disk. If not deleting the file, then it will try to repair the file. This is the case if the file belongs to you and it was modified by the virus itself. If the anti-virus software becomes successful in repairing then it is as if there was no intrusion on your PC by any virus.
If both deletion and repair are not possible then the anti-virus software places the file in quarantine. In this way, it cannot infect other files on your PC. They may spread causing some harm to your computer. You may have to replace some of the infected files with new copies. You may even have to reinstall the software. In some cases the file may be completely lost. However, you can recreate it depending on the data it contains.