Antivirus—What Is It?
Antivirus is a software program that is designed to provide internet users excellent protection against web related threats. It is designed to search, detect, identify, and remove malware programs also known as viruses and other types of malicious software like Trojans, worms, and adware.
Installing and updating antivirus software in your IT system is not just important but crucial to prevent your system from potential threats! Remember a computer that does not have an antivirus installed have high chances of getting infected in just a few seconds.
Though there are many types of antivirus programs available in the market with impressive security features, we’ll walk you through some of the basic functions of an antivirus and how you can benefit by installing it in your IT landscape.
- Scans specific files for malicious patterns and malware
- Enables users to schedule system scans allowing you to automatically run it and detect threats before it damages your system
- Allows you to initiate scans of different files on your system, CD or flash drive that too, at any time
- Helps users immediately remove malicious programs—the antivirus program notifies you, the user, of an infection and asks you if you want to clean the infected file
- It also helps you monitor the health of your system
How it Works?
Generally, there are 2 basic ways that an antivirus program identifies malware and these are:
- Signature Detection
- Behaviour Detection
Signature detection basically works just like our immune system. It scans the PC for characteristics and signatures of programs that are recognised as malicious. This is done by referring to the dictionary of malware. Let’s take a look at an example to understand this better. The antivirus scans the PC and if it detects a malware that matches a pattern in the malware dictionary, the antivirus program instantly makes an attempt to neutralize it, just like our immune system. However, here, it is important to understand that the antivirus in this case only protects the PC against activities that are recognised as harmful.
In comparison to signature detection, in behavior detection, the antivirus does not identify a known malware. Instead, it monitors the software installed on your system. When the program installed acts suspiciously like trying to enter a protected file or modify programs, a behavior based antivirus alerts you instantly about these activities on your PC so that you can take desired actions instantly protecting your PC from potential threats that may otherwise bring your business to a standstill and damage your system greatly.
Here are some tips that you must keep in consideration when installing and using an antivirus:
- Always obtain an antivirus software program from a trusted vendor
- Install the latest version which features automatic updates
- Pay attention to the warnings and alerts generated by your antivirus program
- Never uninstall or disable your antivirus when your PC slows down or prevents you from
accessing a website