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Computer Virus

Computer viruses have the ability to alter our economy to a great extent by infiltrating consumer information, creating glitches in commercial transactions, and wreaking havoc on hard drives. About every six months or so, a story is on the news about new phishing viruses that steal information about consumers and target them for theft. Many large companies have fallen victim to such scams, like Yahoo! and Microsoft, which lost the security of their data to unknown sources. Of course, after these incidents occur, consumers are hesitant to utilize electronic commerce for their shopping transactions. Another instance where this is an impediment is in electronic POS (point of sale) transactions where the computers have been corrupted by viruses, causing delays in service and an inability to utilize the electronic POS. This can be frustrating for workers and consumers alike, as neither is able to be accommodated by their technology. Lastly, advanced viruses like Trojans and malware can permanently damage the information connections in the physical hard drive of the computers they attack. Most operating systems are not properly equipped to stop and reverse the damage done by advanced viruses, which leaves not only POS systems but consumers’ personal computers and devices susceptible to attacks and infiltration. Besides the immediate effects of the attack such as not being able to complete transactions, the more long term effects can be far reaching into consumers’ lives when their personal devices are corrupted. Consumers can lose the security of their personal information as well as their electronic records and their future security at the hands of cyber attacks, which can make them hesitant to engage in those kinds of transactions in the future.