Understanding Antivirus Software and How it Works

There is a chance that you have encountered what your technician may have called a virus attack at some point. A virus called “I Love You” was released, causing damages worth billions of dollars. It may have been 20 years ago, but we still feel its effect today. However, the right antivirus software can go a long way in protecting you against these attacks.

What is a Virus?

Three terms are mostly used in place of each other when dealing with an attack; virus, malware, and worm.  

  • A virus is a code that copies itself in legitimate documents and programs that use a series of commands for execution. The data in your computer becomes damaged, sometimes destroyed, even after cleaning up your device.
  • On the other hand, malware is software and is the general term referring to all malicious software.  It aims to gain access to your private data. The most common way to know you have been affected is by seeing unwanted pop ups and advertising that disrupt your work.
  • A worm is also a malware program. It clones itself and spreads mostly over a network.  A failure in computer security measures is the way worms gain access.

So, what is Antivirus?

Antivirus software examines your computer, finds and removes any malicious software and viruses before they attack.  Antivirus is the vaccine against cyber-attacks keeping away threats that might harm your computer. In case your device gets infected, the result can be damaging to your privacy by spying on your accounts, web activity, or a total crash of your device.

How it Works 

Mostly the antivirus works in the background, making the detection and removal of malware unnoticeable. Antivirus software contains a database of all known virus and malware signatures.  

The antivirus scans the data flow in your device against the databases removing any threat on detection before it can attach to your data. 

  • The primary work of antivirus software therefore is:
  • To protect your files.
  • To scan, block, and remove any malicious software from attaching to your device.
  • To protect your accounts and privacy.

You can either run automatic scans or manual scans, depending on your preference. Scheduled automatic scans work better since you don’t have to worry about forgetting. While most antiviruses work similarly, it does not hurt to do your research on what is suitable for you.

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Antivirus such as Bitdefender has great functions to keep your devices and data secure. Other ways to keep yourself safe is by avoiding clicking unknown links and websites and always keep your antivirus up to date.

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Final thoughts

Statistics by Av-Test Institute show that a total of 350,000 malware programs are registered daily. This alone should be a reason enough to invest in proper antivirus software that will keep your files and privacy protected at all times.  It is a clear indication that without any protection, you are at a very high risk of malware and virus infections, which can cause huge losses and damage to your data.

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