Antivirus software applications are widely used in the recent times. There is hardly anyone who is yet to get introduced to these software suites. But what are these products about? There are many people who do have much clear idea about this range of applications. In simple words any antivirus software is a data security utility. It is installed in a computer system. The goal of the utilities is to protect your device from viruses, data theft, phishing attacks, spyware, ransomeware, malware, Trojans, root kits and other hosts of cyber threats. Now before we move on with our discussion it is helpful to have a little catch-up with computer viruses.
Basics of computer viruses
A computer virus is nothing but an unwanted programme. It gets into your computer without your knowledge. It has the ability to self replicate and spread. It performs a host of unwanted and malicious actions that affect not only the performance of the system but also your files and data stored carefully inside the system.
Just as a virus in the real world causes diseases and makes us sick, a computer virus makes computers sick. Considering this similarity malicious computer codes or programmes are also called viruses.
Basics of antivirus
Now that we have some idea about what computer virus is it is easy to understand the basics about antivirus. As the name implies, an antivirus is an antidote to viruses. It is also a computer programme – just like a virus – but it works against viruses. An antivirus detects the presence of viruses. After recognising a computer virus, it works to remove it from the particular computer system. Experienced techies dealing in software in the UK say antivirus software applications act as prophylactic. In other words it not only get rids of the virus but also prevents any potential damage to your computer system by any other virus in future.
Importance of antivirus software
A computer system that does not have an antivirus is like a house with an open door. An open or unprotected door invariably attracts every type of intruders and burglars to a house. In a similar way, an unprotected computer ends up extending warm invitations to all kinds of viruses. An antivirus programme – on the other hand – is like a closed door with security guard installed that allows your computer to easily fend off every malicious virus that tries to intrude. Therefore it is your choice whether you want to leave your computer open and unprotected so that intruders in form of computer viruses may enter any time or have an antivirus installed.
What damages a virus can bring about to a computer
A virus may damage your computer is several ways.
- It may slow down the computer.
- Your confidential and sensitive files may get deleted.
- The malicious programme code may even reformat your hard disk without your knowledge.
- It could make you suffer a huge data loss.
- Your computer may undergo frequent crashes.
- A virus could also prevent you from performing any task on the computer.
- It can also stop you from doing anything across the virtual web.
An antivirus is nothing less than an unexpected strip of light amid vast and all-engulfing darkness. Antivirus software offers a host of benefits. Some of the greatest advantages that they offer include the following –
An antivirus suite protects your computer from viruses and also prevents their transmission
Antivirus software suites perform in a prophylactic approach. They recognise a potential virus and then work to remove it before the virus can do any harm to the system. Thus usually viruses are countered way before they can exhibit their negative impact. An antivirus may counter dozens of viruses in a single day without you having any knowledge about that. Avast and Norton are two of the most popular antivirus suites in the market for ages together.
When your computer is under a virus attack there is always the chance that you transfer it to your friends, colleagues and family members in your network. An antivirus not only protects you but also everyone within your network from malicious computer viruses.
Blocking ads and spam
Viruses make their way into computer systems mostly through pop up ads and spam websites. In fact these two are the commonest approaches for viruses to infest your computer system. Antivirus suites prevent malicious pop up ads and spam websites from directly accessing your computer network. Bullguard is a reliable antivirus that needs mentioning in the ongoing context.
Preventing hackers and data thieves
It is a common strategy for hackers to access the computer of victims using a malware. A malware is nothing but a virus programme. Hackers install malware into your computer or that of any other victim without your knowledge. This is done by sending malicious e-Mails to a victim. Once you step into their trap they can easily hack into your system and access whatever files and programmes they want. Then they can use your data and files as per their wish. They may steal it to demand ransom later. They may even delete or damage it. Antimalware programmes are helpful to avoid being a prey to hackers. An antimalware suite will either put an anti-hacking lock in place or scan your computer at routine intervals to detect the presence of any hacking based programme or hacker within your computer network. Malwarebytes is a popular and reliable antimalware. As a matter of fact, antivirus suites offer foolproof protection from hacking and hackers.
Protects your system from removable devices
You must have transferred data between your computer and removable devices like USBs innumerable number of times. On such instances you must have experienced havoc slowing down of your computer. The system may also have crashed on several occasions after connecting a USB. These occur or occurred because the USBs in question were contaminated. Yes, removable devices like an USB are a common transmission device for computer viruses.
So should you stop using removable devices to avoid viruses? The answer is no. There is no need to stop using removable devices to thwart virus threats. Rather get an authentic antivirus that scans every removable device that you connect to your system. This way you prevent viruses making inroads into your computer.
At the same time it is also important to buy software online from reliable vendors. Do not go for pirated versions of software if you really want to avoid virus contamination in your system.