Now that you know what a computer virus is, you may be surprised to learn that there are many different types of computer viruses out there and each of them affect your machine differently. Below are a few of the different types of computer viruses that may infect your computer:
File infector virus
File infector viruses are some of the most common computer viruses. They infect executable files on your device, and once the file runs, the virus will rewrite the files’ code to perform an action which may or may not be malicious. These types of viruses can spread to other programs on your computer and should be removed as quickly as possible.
Boot sector virus
Boot sector viruses are typically spread through physical means such as flash drives, but they can also be spread through email. They operate by infecting your computer's Master Boot Record and are only able to infect your machine if they are used to boot up your operating system. Luckily, these viruses are not as prevalent as they used to be, but because they can be extremely destructive and hard to remove, a preventative antivirus software is recommended to ensure your machine does not contract this virus.
Browser hijackers take control of your web browser to spy on your browsing or to send you to sites you may not be trying to visit. The hacker does this to boost ad revenue for the site. Additionally, these viruses can steal any personal information you enter into a site if they are spying on you, so if your browser starts to exhibit strange behavior such as long load times or excessive pop-ups, we highly recommend you scan your device for viruses. They typically find their way to your computer through an infected browser extension and can be removed by running your antivirus software.
Polymorphic computer viruses are some of the most complex viruses your computer can become infected with. As their name would imply, they are able to alter their code, making them hard to detect and remove. They are a form of an encrypted virus and use different encryption keys every time they change their underlying code. These types of computer viruses are spread through a wide variety of media including spam, infected files, or malware. A sophisticated antivirus software or IT professional are typically required to remove this type of virus.