What's a computer virus?

A virus is a computer program that can replicate itself and spread from one computer to another. Viruses can enter your computer as attachments to an email or in a downloaded file, or they can be hidden on a zip drive or CD. It's usually not obvious that a virus is present.

A computer virus attaches, overwrites or otherwise replaces another program in order to reproduce itself without your knowledge. This may quickly use all of your computer's available memory -- slowing down your system or bringing it to a halt. Viruses can damage data, destroy files, format hard drives or make disks unreadable. 

If you find a virus on your computer, CenturyLink's Consumer Internet Protection Program (CIPP) makes it easy for you to clean and secure your computer and network. The CIPP:

  • Notifies you of malware/virus infections on your network
  • Provides resources and tools to help you clean your infected computer
  • Informs you about good Internet habits and how to minimize the risks

We highly recommend you install and maintain well-respected antivirus software on your computer to prevent infection. Scan all email attachments with a virus program before downloading/executing/opening docs, even if they come from someone you know.

Don't have antivirus software? Norton Antivirus is included in the CenturyLink@Ease™ support package, which is part of your CenturyLink High-Speed Internet service.