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There has been a lot written about how to keep a computer safe from all of the dangers that are present. Viruses, malware, spyware and hackers all represent a threat to computers. It is not just the big companies and governments that need to think about computer security. Despite all of the information that is available about the threats to computers, not everyone makes the effort to make sure that their computer and the information stored on it is safe.

When looking for information about how to keep a computer safe, one of the first things that will be seen is to install some type of antivirus software and to make sure that it is kept up to date. There are a lot of different programs that can be used. Some of them are free, others carry a one-time fee and others have to be renewed on a regular basis. While the cost of the software will vary, the things they all do and the way they work are similar. In order to understand why antivirus software is important, it is worth learning what it protects a computer from and how it works.

virus protection

What it does

The main things that antivirus software does can be broken down into three categories.

  • Viruses – As the name of the software suggests, antivirus software is designed to prevent computer viruses from getting onto a computer. Viruses come in many forms and can harm a computer in a number of ways. They may cause a computer to slow down, they may steal information from the computer, or they may cause a computer to stop working altogether and cause all information to be lost. No one wants to have a virus on their computer, so it is important to have something that stops this from happening. Good antivirus software is capable of stopping 99.9% of viruses from infecting a computer.
  • Spyware and Identity Theft – Hackers can install software called spyware that records activities that an individual does on their computer. The spyware can track what websites a person visits. It can record user names and passwords. It can search information that is stored on a computer. The hacker can then retrieve the information that the spyware has collected and use it to steal a person’s identity or cause other problems. Depending on the type of spyware that gets onto a computer, the speed which the information can be stolen can be instantaneous. By the time a person realizes that their computer has spyware on it, it is too late. The antivirus software can stop this before it happens.
  • Spam – Spam is one of the most annoying things that computer users have to deal with. It is especially annoying when a computer bombarded with unwanted pop-ups or when a user is redirected to the wrong website as they are surfing the internet. Antivirus software is one of the best ways to prevent the attacks from a spammer.

How It Works

These are the most important things that antivirus software is important to use. Antivirus software scans your computer on a regular basis. It can prevent many of the problems that computers and their users have to deal with. The next thing to know is how to use free antivirus software to detect and remove viruses.

The software is typically installed after a person gets their computer. It is additional software. Antivirus software can be installed on a computer either from the internet or using a CD. It is possible to find free software programs that are just as effective as the paid for software. All of them are programmed to recognize the known threats and viruses that are present in the computer. The software works in the background of the computer watching for websites that pose a threat, viruses that are hidden in documents or emails, links that are dangerous and many other types of malware that is being used. Because new viruses are being used all of the time and because the hackers are always trying to find vulnerabilities in security software. In order to prevent that from happening, updates are made that can fix the deficiencies of any software. The updates have to be installed by the user either manually or automatically.

  • Signature Based Malware Detection – In order to detect the malware, an intrusion detection software like Snort will search for specific codes that are known to be a part of malware in files that are downloaded via the internet. When your network is scanned, and this specific code is found, the malware attack can be blocked or prevented from the system.
  • Behavior malware detection – When this is used to find viruses, the software is looking for behaviors that are suspicious in nature. The software will often warn the user that they may be doing something unsafe and will ask if the user still wants to proceed with their actions.
  • Cloud scanning – If a user scans their computer utilizing the cloud and the internet, they can check the connection of their server and their network for any potential threats. This type of scanning will check for anything that looks suspicious and provide that information to the cloud. Other users will be able to use that information to make sure they are protected from the threats.

The threat of malware is serious and affects anyone that uses a computer. It is not just something for big businesses to use or for someone that spends a lot of time on the internet to worry about. The people that do not take computer security seriously are putting themselves and others at risk. Malware can not only get information about the people that use a computer, they can also get information about any of the contacts that a person has in emails, social media and anything else that is stored on a computer. Every person that has a computer is responsible for computer safety for themselves and others and it starts with antivirus software. The risks associated with not using the software are too great. With the availability of free software, it does not make sense not to use it.

If you think that antivirus software is important let us know. Please share your ideas, thoughts and suggestions about this topic with us.

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