What is a computer virus?

When you hear “computer virus” think about viruses that can spread amoung people, like the common cold or smallpox. Like these illnesses, a computer virus can pass from one host to another with dangerous consequences. It is vital to protect your computer from becoming infected.

A computer virus is a small program that can damage or destroy information on your computer; it can even erase your entire hard disk. Viruses can reproduce themselves and use your computer to spread to other computers, sometimes infecting millions of users in a very short period of time. A virus might come attached to an email message (it might be triggered to run just by opening the message), or attached to a computer program that you download from the Internet. A seemingly harmless email attachment like a spreadsheet or a word document might also have a virus attached, and every time that program is opened, the virus springs into action.

Because computer viruses are designed to be triggered even by casual computer use (like reading an email or downloading software), it is vital to protect yourself from infection.

PSMail.net systems use a two stage scanner to scan for viruses. Virus scanning is done on both incoming and outgoing mail, and we update virus definitions four times a day for your protection.

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