Several factors led to the development and spread of computer viruses in the 1980s.
- Before the 1980s, almost no one had a personal computer. Computers of any kind were rare and were used only by specialists. However, the IBM PC (1982) and Apple's Macintosh computer (1984) ushered in a new era of home computing. This revolution meant more total computers and plenty of less-informed users, which created the environment viruses needed in order to thrive.
- Electronic bulletin boards made spreading software much easier and faster. Computers connected to bulletin boards with modems --these boards were popular ways to distribute games and productivity applications like word processors and spreadsheets.
- Many early computers didn't have hard drives. Everything a computer needed in order to work was on floppy disks. Virus programmers developed the first self-replicating software to take advantage of this system by copying itself to the disk and going wherever the disk went.
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