It is quite possible you might be inundated on a daily basis with spam mail and unwanted pop-ups which advertise the latest in spy-ware and antivirus protection. As un-amusing and counterintuitive as it might be, competition and the effective differences between competing antivirus application developers is so tight, that even the manufactures of antivirus programs are willing to exploit your computers weaknesses to market their solutions.
The sheer size and efficiency of the internet as well its billion-plus users makes new computer viruses more dangerous and virulent than in the past. Viruses can literally spread worldwide in only minutes, effecting 1000s of unprotected and unprepared users and businesses virtually instantly and simultaneously. The need for antivirus protection is of paramount concern for practically all PC users.
First Things First: What exactly is a Computer Virus? To be considered a real computer Virus, a program needs the cabability to replicate itself and trigger its activity at specified events. A computer virus is among one of three varieties of programs called “maliceware”. “Maliceware” are applications designed to damage, delete or steal your details, hijack your pc as well as damage or destroy your computers hardware. The three varieties of “maliceware” you have to concern yourself with are Viruses, Trojans and Worms. Most antivirus programs are made to detect and defend your PC coming from all three threats.
Exactly What Does an Antivirus Program Do?
Antivirus programs take two common methods to recognize threats to your computer.
1. Signature Detection: Via Signature Detection an antivirus application scans your pc, drives and storage devices for files which contain a code it recognizes as being a virus variant.
2. Activity: An antivirus application will monitor the activity on your pc for suspicious behaviors i.e. modification of system files or folders and unauthorized connections to the web to mention two.
Signature detection generally demands the manufacturer of the antivirus application to obtain a copy of a specific virus and after that reverse-engineer it to obtain markers relevant to its programming. These markers are then loaded in your antivirus software via updates. Signature detection is a sound methodology for detecting and protecting against computer viruses, however it could be rendered useless when confronted with a virus that is has no definition.
Antivirus applications that scan for potential computer virus activity may be more useful at detecting the newest threats as opposed to those dependent on signature detection. It is important to remember that because many applications perform same activities as being a virus – writing and changing system files as an example – a user can quickly become inundated with numerous and unnecessary warnings by antivirus applications that utilize this process for detection.
Most of today’s “solid” antivirus programs utilize a combination of both signature detection and virus activity to guard your pc against threats.
Choosing the Antivirus Program that meets your needs.
If you try surfing the net for insight into exactly what is the best antivirus program or manufacturer, you will quickly find yourself neck deep in a sea of advertisements which profess themselves to be legitimate and impartial evaluators of the available programs. The simple truth is, from the major manufacturers, nobody solution can offer for all of your potential needs. Each one has instances where they are not competitive with your competition at detecting or eliminating a certain infection or threat. There are numerous good Antivirus applications and manufacturers all vying for the business, whether it be for private or business use, and selecting the proper application or manufacturer for your computer security can generally fall to a few simple questions.
How at Risk are You?
Asking yourself this question is probably the foremost and most important step toward choosing what amount of protection you need, and how much cash you are able to spend, on Antivirus protection. Risk generally equates for your computers exposure to outside applications, files or connections. If you decide to run a computer that could never enter in to contact with any program or file not manufactured with a secure source, then you certainly have virtually no requirement for an Antivirus application. To put it simply, in the event you never plan to connect your computer to the internet, download files along with it or upload “at risk” files from the outside data sources, you need to have no need for Antivirus software.
Should you be a friendly user who perhaps connects to the web occasionally through a temporary or dial up connection and just download or upload files and programs from reasonably secure sources, your need for an antivirus program is apparent, however, your risk might be minimal. In cases like this the types and variety of protective applications may be kept as low as possible; a basic antivirus program created to regularly scan your hard disk drive for infections should give you the protection that you need. There are lots of good antivirus programs that can fit this need available as shareware – a totally free download – throughout the internet.
Now, if you are like a few things i would consider to be nearly all today’s computer users, you happen to be dangerous user and need a wide variety of by far the most up to date antivirus programs around. If you have a broadband internet connection which ensures you keep your pc connected to the internet 24/7. In the event you regularly upload and download files and applications from random and un-trusted sources, you should invest in very thorough security for your computer. Dangerous users should invest in Best Free Antivirus which offers real-time scanning of all incoming and outgoing connections or files, a firewall to stop unauthorized use of your computer with an open broadband connection, a pop-up blocker that prevents your computers browser from being hijacked and adware scanners that detect pop-up, spy-ware, tracking and redirection software.
Have you been Purchasing for Business or Home?
Antivirus software manufactured for business and home may be two completely different applications both in cost and effectiveness. Home versions generally are less expensive and come with fewer options than business based antivirus programs. Usually the home user does not require the added functionality included in business versions and as such, I would not suggest that a home user spend money on an antivirus solution designed for business.
Good antivirus software created for business is focused on security, both from external and internal threats, in addition to simplicity of maintenance. Most corporate versions of antivirus applications permit a central reason for control of entire networks. Protection can be divided between internet or application servers and individual PCs. New software updates are generally “pushed” from the central application server from the entire network, making it possible for simplicity and assure-ity of the network’s protection. Normally, corporate versions of antivirus applications do not let individual users within a network to create changes to their protection settings; this is of key importance when it comes to overall network security and stability.
As a business purchasing a corporate class antivirus suite, it is important that your protection extends to each individual user that will access your network. Exchange/mail and internet server protection is a must, in addition to protection for mission-critical file and application servers. It is a good rule of thumb because of it managers within corporate environments to believe that all their users can do everything within their power to infect corporate equipment with viruses and threats. Though this most certainly will not be true, assuming that users understand how to protect themselves or their corporate computer environment from infection is in most cases professional suicide for the IT manger in charge.
Antivirus software for business is generally packed with more options than software built for home, and as such is frequently times a lot more expensive on a whole. Usually business antivirus programs come as being a server akhoky application. Clients, or additional licenses, are purchased for each computer or user that connects to the antivirus server.
With Regard to the Antivirus Program Itself: Determining the true quality and effectiveness of your antivirus program can occasionally come down to how many times the producer releases updates towards the program. New viruses are exposed to the net on most certainly a daily, if not hourly basis. The best antivirus manufacturers release updates on a daily basis and frequently offer updates with their programs on the real-time, when needed basis. The capacity for the antivirus software manufacturer to discharge constant, and relevant, updates for their programs needs to be of great concern towards the user. Lacking the latest updates can almost be as dangerous as without protection at all.