How to Choose An Antivirus Program

It is quite possible you are 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 may be, competition as well as the effective differences between competing antivirus application developers is so tight, that even the manufactures of antivirus programs are willing to exploit your computers weak points to advertise their solutions.

The pure size and efficiency of the web as well its billion-plus users makes new computer viruses more harmful and virulent than ever. Viruses can literally spread around the globe in only moments, effecting thousands of unprotected and unprepared users and businesses virtually instantly and simultaneously. The need for antivirus protection is of paramount concern for virtually all PC users.

First Things First: Just what Computer Virus?

To be considered a true computer Virus, a program needs the ability to replicate alone and trigger its activity at specified events. A computer virus is simply one of three types of programs generally known as “maliceware”. “Maliceware” are applications made to damage, delete or steal your details, hijack your computer and even damage or destroy your computers hardware. Three types of “maliceware” you need to concern yourself with are Viruses, Trojans and Worms. The majority of antivirus programs are designed to detect plus defend your PC from all three threats.

What Does an Antivirus Plan Do?

Antivirus programs take 2 common approaches to recognize threats for your computer.

1 . Signature Detection: Via Signature Detection an antivirus software scans your computer, drives and storage space devices for files that contain a code it recognizes as a virus variant.

2 . Activity: An anti-virus application will monitor the activity on your computer for suspicious behaviors i. e. modification of system files or even folders and unauthorized connections towards the internet to name two.

Signature recognition generally requires the manufacturer of an antivirus application to obtain a copy of a specific virus and then reverse-engineer it to obtain markers relevant to its programming. These markers are then loaded into your antivirus software via updates. Signature bank detection is a sound methodology intended for detecting and protecting against computer viruses, however it can be rendered useless when faced with a virus for which is has no definition.

Antivirus applications that scan for potential computer virus activity can be more useful at detecting the most recent threats than those reliant on signature bank detection.
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It is important to note that because several applications perform the same activities as being a virus – writing and changing system files for example – an user can quickly become inundated with numerous and unnecessary warnings by anti-virus applications that utilize this method for recognition.

Most of today’s “solid” antivirus programs utilize a combination of both signature recognition and virus activity to protect your computer against threats.

How to Choose the Malware Program that is Right for You.

If you try out surfing the web for insight into very best best antivirus program or manufacturer, you will quickly find yourself neck strong in a sea of advertisements which usually profess themselves to be legitimate and impartial evaluators of the available programs. The truth is, of the major manufacturers, no one solution can provide for all of your possible needs. They all have instances where they are not as effective as the competition at detecting or eliminating a certain infection or threat. There are many good Antivirus applications and manufacturers just about all vying for your business, be it for personal or business use, and selecting the correct application or manufacturer for your computer security can generally reduced to a few simple questions.

How at Risk are You?

Asking yourself this question is perhaps the first and most important step toward choosing what degree of protection you require, and how much money you are ready to spend, on Antivirus protection. Risk generally equates to your computers exposure to outside applications, files or connections. In case you were to operate a computer that would certainly not come into contact with any program or file not manufactured by a secure resource, then you have virtually no need for an Antivirus application. Simply put, if you certainly not plan to connect your computer to the web, download files with it or add “at risk” files from outside data sources, you should have no need with regard to Antivirus software.

If you are a casual consumer who perhaps connects to the internet on occasion through a temporary or call up connection and only download or upload files and programs from reasonably secure sources, your need for an antivirus program is clear, however , your risk may be minimal. With this situation the types and range of protective applications can be kept to some minimum; a basic antivirus program designed to regularly scan your hard drive regarding infections should offer you the protection that you need. There are many good antivirus programs that will fit this need accessible as shareware – a free download – throughout the internet.

Now, if you are like what I would consider to be the majority of today’s computer users, you are a high risk user and need a wide variety of the most up to date antivirus programs available. If you have a broadband internet connection which keeps your personal computer connected to the internet 24/7. If you frequently upload and download files plus applications from random and un-trusted sources, you need to invest in very thorough security for your computer. High risk users should invest in an antivirus program that offers real time scanning of all inbound and outgoing connections or documents, a firewall to prevent unauthorized access to your PC via an open broadband connection, a pop-up blocker that prevents your computers web browser from becoming hijacked and adware scanners that will detect pop-up, spy-ware, tracking and redirection software.

Are you Purchasing to get Business or Home?

Antivirus software program manufactured for business and house can be two very different applications in cost and effectiveness. Home variations generally cost less and come with fewer options than business based malware programs. Generally the home user doesn’t need the added functionality built into business versions and as such, I would not advise that a home user invest in an antivirus solution designed for business.

Good antivirus software designed for business is focused upon security, both from external plus internal threats, as well as ease of upkeep. Most corporate versions of malware applications allow for a central point of control over entire networks. Defense can be divided between internet or even application servers and individual Personal computers. New software updates are generally “pushed” from a central application server through the entire network, allowing for simplicity and assure-ity of a network’s protection. Most times, business versions of antivirus applications do not allow individual users within a network to make changes to their protection settings; this is of key importance when considering general network security and stability.

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