There are many warning messages displayed to us while browsing the web (usually in the form of pop-up ads) which claim that viruses are present on our systems. Many of these pop ups try to instill fear into the user by claiming that the viruses can also physically damage your PC.
These warnings are usually elaborate hoaxes that carry no weight at all. This kind of damage is simply not possible. Although viruses can cause considerable damage to the files within your PC, they do not have the capability to physically damage the computer hardware itself. Even in the worst cases of virus infection, as long as your system is thoroughly cleaned (or in severe cases, both cleaned and reformatted), the hardware itself will remain fully functional.
Should you be worried about these warnings?... No. Unless of course you click on them!
Clicking on these warning can trigger a virus to be downloaded, but if you have clicked on one of these messages in error, try not to worry. For the virus to be activated, the code in which the virus is contained must first be executed.
Whether the infected file is contained within an e-mail, a file you have downloaded from the Internet or even a document file, it will require some form of trigger in order to begin harming your system files. This process is not automatically started just by downloading an infected file.
When.exe files containing viruses are executed, the virus code contained inside these files will run, attempting (and often succeeding) to spread the virus throughout your system and across all of the other systems connected to your network. These newly created segments of the virus then attack other areas of your hard drive, duplicating and attaching itself to other programs and files. If these infected files are then shared with other computer users outside of your network, the virus is passed on to them, infecting the recipients computer and increasing the likelihood of the virus being spread to yet more computers.
If you have clicked on one of these warning messages or suspect that a virus may have accessed your system in another way, virus removal must be undertaken as soon as possible as besides having the ability to spread throughout your system, viruses are also capable of deleting or altering your document contents, changing settings and creating and inserting harmful lines of code into your back end system files.