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Computer Virus vs Network Worm: What’s the Difference?

Viruses cause over 55 billion dollars of damages every year. In the last two years, more than 16 million Americans have had to deal with a serious computer virus. 

But viruses don’t just infect your computer. They can get into your network, too. 


It comes down to the type of virus.

We’ve put together this guide to take a look at the differences between a computer virus and a network worm. 

So make sure you keep reading below. 

What’s the Difference Between a Computer Virus and a Network Worm?

Computer viruses and network worms are similar. 

Because of this, before one can understand the difference between a computer virus and a network worm, they must ask two separate questions first: what is a virus and what is a worm?

We’ll take a closer look at both viruses and worms below. 

Let’s dive in. 

What Is a Virus? 

virus removalA virus is a tiny piece of code that infects a computer. Once it gets inside the system, it makes changes without the consent of the user. 

There are many different types of viruses that can do all kinds of different things. For example, some viruses get into your computer and start deleting files. Others can destroy your computer’s memory or make it crash any time you try to turn it on. 

How Do They Spread?

Viruses don’t have a high level of autonomy. In other words, they rely on humans to spread them from one computer to another. 

Think of a virus like the common cold. It only infects a computer if it comes into contact with it. This can be done through emails, flash drives, messages, attachments, and more. 

Viruses also need a host file. This is what contains the virus and spreads it to other computers.

Without a host file or a person to send that host file, viruses couldn’t get anywhere.  

What Is a Worm?

A worm is a type of malware, which is actually a virus subset. 

But worms don’t need a host file or the help of humans. 

Instead, they have a high level of autonomy. They can sneak into your network through weaknesses and replicate themselves on their own. In this way, they jump from one network to another, and they can do it without you even noticing. 

Worms spread fast. And they aren’t restricted to a specific area. They can potentially get into networks all over the world. 

They are also aggressive. Before you have a chance to remove them, they can suck up all your network’s bandwidth.

How Do They Spread?

Network worms spread on their own. They replicate themselves and search for vulnerabilities in networks they can use to sneak in. 

Because of this, they can jump from one network to the next very quickly. 

Understanding the Main Differences 

So what’s the main difference between viruses and worms? 

There are two: the level of autonomy and the way they spread. 

Apart from these two things, viruses and worms are similar. They both infect a computer or network and cause what can be serious damage. 

How to Get Rid of a Computer Virus or a Network Worm

If you’re dealing with a computer virus or a network worm, you’ll need to contact a professional malware removal company as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the more damage your computer or network will take. 

It’s not a good idea to try to fight the malware on your own. 

Why not?

If you don’t know what you’re doing, you might end up making the problem worse. Even if you do figure out how to get rid of the virus or worm, it might take you a while. That means your system will be exposed to the threat for a longer period of time. 

How to Protect Yourself from Viruses and Worms 

The things that’ll protect your computer from viruses will also protect your network from worms. 

Here are a few things you should be doing to protect yourself from dangerous malware. 

Keep Your Software up to Date

Remember, worms get into your network through vulnerabilities. If you’re using old, outdated software, your network may not be able to defend itself against this malware. 

Always make sure any software you’re using is up to date. 

If your software doesn’t update automatically, make sure you set reminders so you know what to update it yourself. 

Install an Antivirus Protection

One of the best ways to protect yourself from viruses and worms is to install antivirus protection. 

This software will continuously scan your system one program at a time searching for any type of malware. If it finds anything, it will remove it. 

Antivirus software also can’t be manipulated by social engineering (one of the ways worms get into your system). So they won’t miss anything. 

Don’t Open Unfamiliar Emails, Messages, or Files

If you don’t know who sent an email or message, don’t open it. Dump it straight into your trash folder. 

Always stay away from suspicious looking files or links. Don’t open something you think could contain a virus even if you know who sent it. Instead, ask the sender if they did indeed send out the file. Only open the file if the sender confirms it’s safe. 

Know how to recognize phishing emails so you can stay away from them. 

Stay off Non-Secure Webpages

Never click on unsecured websites.

Before you visit a webpage, make sure it has HTTPS before the URL (rather than just HTTP). The extra S means the website is secure and safe. If you don’t see that S, find what you’re looking for somewhere else. 

Understanding Computer Viruses and Network Worms 

Though computer viruses and network worms have different levels of autonomy and use their own method to spread, they’re both bad news. If you get exposed to either of these malware types, you should get professional help right away. 

Not sure where to look for that help?

Make sure you click here to take a look at our malware removal services. 

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Community Computer Services
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OriMaster 261
OriMaster 261
18:27 08 Jan 20
Very nice and helpful people, love the store atmosphere, and fair prices.... Overall a very pleasant experience!read more
Tracy cook
Tracy cook
00:29 03 Jan 20
So far, it hasn't been that great. I took a laptop in almost 2 weeks ago and... haven't heard back from them. When I went in to drop it off, it was like they were getting ready to go out of business. The young guy who took my laptop said he would call me and hasn't yet. I know that we have had 2 weeks of holidays, but other businesses are open again. He made sure he got my $45 first though. I'm surprised by all of this, because I've gotten great service when the father was there. In this guy's response, he says that he can't get a hold of me. What he fails to mention is that he wrote my number down wrong and didn't check his caller ID from when I called last Monday or when I left a message the week before. I left a message last week and he never called me back then either. When he did finally found my number, he chewed me out for everything. He never confirmed anything about the computer, yet acts like he did. So my number is not out of service, but I will not be a customer of theirs more
23:48 22 Oct 19
I went with a problem on my tablet and that is not something they are very... comfortable with but for computers that are used you should check it outread more
Carol Lyle
Carol Lyle
16:43 13 May 19
Am new to the area having problems with tower computer at the time. Was... advised to seek a locally owned business doing computer repair. I did and chose Community Computer Services in Alexandria, Ky. 41001. Did diagnostics as I was thinking problem with hard drive. Wasn't which was great price wise. Was able to clear out all viruses and malware. Saved my pictures and other personal folders and reloaded to computer. Also installed free virus and malware programs. Runs fast!! Also they gave me a week to use to see if incurred any problems. I did not!!! While taking care of tower computer explained how slow my laptop was. So brought it in. Was going to do diagnostics see what problem was. He told me it would be like a new computer. Advised me to use chrome. He saved my files and reloaded them so where I didn't lose anything. Also downloaded the free virus protection and malware. The laptop is brand new to me. It is fantastic!!!! So fast it has to wait on me. I would recommend anyone having computer problems to see Community Computer Services immediately. Very reasonable, courteous and explained things to me where I could understand. Excellent more
Sara housypart
Sara housypart
18:44 03 Apr 19
We took our mac into their store. It was running terrible. They were able to... make it run like it was new. I was surprised on how affordable it was. We will be going there from now on for all of our computer more
Steven Noble
Steven Noble
21:07 01 Apr 19
They did a great job fixing our laptops. We will be using them from now on.
Ryan Moore
Ryan Moore
23:45 31 Mar 19
We have used Community Computer Services for many years now. They do a great... job! The pricing is great as well. If you need a laptop or desktop repaired in Northern Kentucky, then these are your more
Piles Chevrolet
Piles Chevrolet
15:36 20 Feb 19
This is a great place to have your computer or laptop repaired. They are fast,... honest and stand behind their work. I wouldn't go any place else. I recommend everyone to use this company. They give you pricing right up front. D. Hensleyread more
Joe Geiman
Joe Geiman
03:30 25 Aug 18
Always had a great experience dealing with these guys. My computer is running... faster than it ever has after being repaired there. Would recommend them to more
Penelope Kolb
Penelope Kolb
15:03 22 Aug 18
Community Computer Services provides a great services at affordable prices.... Over the past 5 years I have had to replace lap top hardware and treat viruses. Every time the knowledgeable team at Community Computer Services has provided fast diagnostics with a menu of solutions for me to choose from. I highly recommend keeping your technology out of a landfill and going strong with the support of Community Computer more
B Bailey
B Bailey
01:20 22 Aug 18
I have received great service from these guys on more than one occasion. The... prices are excellent as well. They have taken very good care of me over the years. Thanks!read more
Daryl Mullins
Daryl Mullins
04:08 28 Jul 18
My computer quit working just as my wife was in the middle of using it for... Vacation Bible School last night. She was panicking. I began to look online and saw Community Computers near where I live. I checked the reviews and it had a great rating. I called this morning and explained my situation. I was told to bring my laptop in and he would see what he could do. When I took it in I also shared with him another issue I had been experiencing, my wireless connection was not working . He said he would really try to find out the issue so we would have it for Bible School. About 2 1/2 hours later he called to give the good news that the problem was just a bad cord. When picking it up he also told me he gave it a good checking over and tried to repair my non wireless connection for over an hour. He then told me instead of trying to go into the laptop to change a chip which could be costly, he sent me to Staples for a solution of a $30.00 wireless adapter. I was very impressed with my experience Community Computers. I would encourage anyone who has computer issues to check them out. You will not be disappointed. Also, the price I paid was very more
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