Identity theft and online fraud are at an all-time high. According to a Javelin study, over the past six years over...
Why Antivirus Software is Vital to Online Security
One of the most common reasons for failures or problems in computing devices (computers, smartphones, tablets, etc.) is the lack of, or expired antivirus software. It’s an issue which is often overlooked and can have significant consequences for the unfortunate computing device owner.
What Is a Virus?
These days there are so many different types of viruses. So what is a virus? A virus is hidden inside other computer code and can do a number of things, as it relates to the health of the device. A few examples are provided below:
- Makes it run slowly
- Prevents it from booting up (starting)
- Damages parts of the system or amend how the system operates without the owner’s knowledge
- Is used to steal personal details
- Moves from machine to machine on a network
- Attacks other machines using the infected machine as a host
- Sends out unauthorized email messages
So like a human virus, a virus can be dangerous and possibly infectious to other computing devices. They can be spread between devices, and can also be transported via email. It’s not limited to software, as they can also be transported via USB drives and other types of media.
Where Does a Virus Come From?
Viruses are a malicious code inserted into common programs. They are written by programmers who have decided to use their skills in a negative manner. Some viruses are created for an “ego” boost. In other words, some programmers write these things just to prove that they can hack into a major site or obtain private information. However, most viruses are created by criminal programmers who have a much more devious intention.
What Types of Virus Are There?
Sometimes the definition of what constitutes a virus is not clearly defined. In general, a virus almost always damages or modifies files on a computing device. Some other types of malicious software such as spyware are used to steal information from the user but may not damage the device.
Types of Virus Include:
- Worms: These are programs which copy themselves to other computing devices on a network. They tend to slow things down, consuming more and more bandwidth or computing resources.
- Trojans: Performs functions (sometimes malicious) on the device without the knowledge of the user.
- Malware: Technically, this is not classed as a virus. It is software used to spy on the user’s activities and collect personal information from the computing device. Malware is more commonly known as spyware.
So What Does Antivirus Software Do?
Antivirus software is the vaccine for your computing device or system. It protects the computing device from incoming threats, seeking out, destroying, and warning of possible threats to the system. It keeps your devices healthy and running smooth. New viruses are coming out all the time. It’s the job of the antivirus software to keep up with the latest threats. This is achieved by regular (daily, weekly, etc.) updates of antivirus database definitions, which counteract and provide constant protection against the latest threats.
Which Antivirus Product to Choose?
There are a lot of antivirus products available to choose. Here are some considerations in making your selection: all-inclusive protection (protects against viruses, worms, malware, etc.), easy to install and use (compatible with your device, supports easy navigation to features, provides automatic updates), reliable product (known company, good/favorable consumer reviews), and cost (free or pay-for product, reasonable for your budget). It’s easy to become overwhelmed by the choices for antivirus protection. Pick one that meets your needs and install it. Don’t wait!
Antivirus Software is Vital!
Not having antivirus software on your computing device is like not getting the flu vaccine during flu season. Both are bad ideas! Viruses (either physical or digital) are never welcome. They negatively affect health and performance, and can lead to greater risks and problems. Today’s Internet provides many ways for virus attacks and there are thousands of threats. To be safe from these, it is vital to have antivirus software vaccine on each of your computing devices providing around-the-clock protection. The importance of antivirus software cannot be underestimated.