Throwback Thursday - Computer Virus Awareness

Published: Feb. 24, 2023 at 11:30 AM EST
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Cyber security is a multi billion dollar industry, aimed at keeping the internet as safe as possible, however in the early days of the internet, many users weren’t as protected as they are now. NewsSource8′s Brian Bouchard has this week’s Throwback Thursday.

Computer viruses cause more than 4 billion dollars worth of damage to consumers each year according to statistics from Back in the late 90′s the best protection from viruses was staying away from suspicious emails and shady websites. In this week’s Throwback Thursday we dial the time machine back to February 24th, 1998 where WAGM Reporter Jamie Wood gives us a look at the threat of computer viruses.

With all of the attention that the internet and e-commerce have been getting recently many people overlook the fact that dozens of computer viruses are discovered every day. In fact not only are computer viruses on the rise, but with more people sharing e-mail attachments and internet downloads the risk of infection is also increasing.

“If you have any real sensitive information on your computer. There’s two different things that could happen to that information with viruses that are designed to allow someone else to take control of your computer over the internet that information can be transferred to another person’s computer very easily without your knowledge. If you just get a virus that’s purpose in life is just to maliciously destroy data, you’re just going to lose that data.”

“Virus experts work around the clock and around the world trying to identify, detect and even make repairs from viruses, but there are steps that you can take to protect your own personal computer.”

“The best ways are to have a good antivirus program, and a lot of people don’t realize that antivirus programs need to be updated, I suggest at least once every two weeks. New viruses are discovered every day and you have to update that virus program and a lot of the manufacturers provide easy ways to do that over the internet, and that’s really the only way to catch a new virus.”

So you might wonder who’s behind all this computer virus mayhem? Well the profile of the average virus writer is male, age 14 to 24, he’s most likely from the US, India, New Zealand or Australia.

“I think you’d be very surprised how technologically superior Australia and New Zealand are especially, a lot of new research comes out of there. Most of their population is more computer literate than the American population and I think that would be the reason why there are all kinds of new viruses coming out of those areas. In America, especially, the American virus writer would be someone who is working together in conjunction with a group, group of people that prefer and enjoy doing this.”

Jamie Wood, NewsSource8