Since the first nefarious self-copying code was unleashed back in 1986 computer viruses have been making your devices and computers sick. Some of them could brick your devices, while others can cause slowdowns or even theft of your data. But in most cases you can wipe a virus from your device if you act fast.

A virus is a type of software that, just like the flu virus, can reproduce by attaching itself to programs and files, infect them, and later, make copies of themselves. Once a virus has infected the program, it will be spread to other programs as well as devices connected to the same network. These viruses can cause a variety of damage. They can steal passwords and credit cards or erase data, corrupt software, or even completely take over your system.

Depending on the type of virus, it may be transmitted from one device to another through text and email attachments, Internet file downloads, or social media scams. Infections can also affect smartphones and mobile devices by hiding inside of shady app downloads. Certain viruses have a playful nature and are designed to cause enjoyment, while others are designed to earn money.

In most countries, generating and spreading a computer virus is a crime. But if you’re curious, you can learn how to create a basic virus by using Notepad along with other tools. This isn’t for the faint of heart however it’s an enjoyable method to test your coding skills. You’ll need to determine how your virus will behave after it has infected the system. It could be anything from showing an error message, to deleting or corrupting data and contacting your contacts lists of friends.