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Viruses can be little more than hindrances, or they can shut down an entire corporation. The types vary, but the approach to handling them does not. You need to install virus protection software on all computer equipment. This is similar to vaccinating your entire family, not just the children who are going to summer camp. Workstations, personal computers, servers, and firewalls all must have virus protection, even if they never connect to your network. They can still get viruses from floppy disks or Internet downloads (via modem).

Types of Viruses

Several types of viruses exist, but the two most popular are macro and boot sector. Each type differs slightly in the way it works and how it infects your system. Many viruses attack popular applications such as Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, which are easy to use and for which it is easy to create a virus. Because writing a unique virus is considered a challenge to a bored programmer, viruses are becoming more and more complex and harder to eradicate.

Macro Viruses

A macro is a script of commonly enacted commands that are used to automatically perform operations without a user’s intervention. Macro viruses use the Visual Basic macro scripting language to perform malicious or mischievous functions in Microsoft Office products. Macro viruses are among the most harmless (but also the most annoying). Since macros are easy to write, macro viruses are among the most common viruses and are frequently found in Microsoft Word and PowerPoint. They affect the file you are working on. For example, you might be unable to save the file even though the Save function is working, or you might be unable to open a new document— you can only open a template. These viruses will not crash your system, but they are annoying. Cap and Cap A are examples of macro viruses.

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