What Can a Virus Protection Do for You?
What is Virus Protection?
Virus protection software protects your computer from a range of malware (malicious software) by searching out, detecting and quarantining potential threats in real-time. These threats may come from Trojans, adware, worms or a whole host of other compromising software creations.
Currently, there are several well-known makers of virus protection software that include basic features in their products such as real-time protection, regular updates, file quarantining and directory scanning. On top of this, some products have added functions that provide an improved experience through greater protection, ease-of-use and technical support.
Every day, up to 100 new malware threats are identified. This means that every software maker has to contend with and find ways to remove them. New threats are added to the databases of virus protection products regularly, but some products are more effective at detecting these threats. Consider this aspect when purchasing a virus protection package.
Benefits of Virus Protection
The benefits of virus protection are wide-ranging. They will protect your operating system from various security vulnerabilities, offering benefits such as:
Real-time protection. This is where the virus protection software will actively scan incoming files as they are stored or installed on your operating system. Any potential threats detected can be moved into quarantine where any interaction between the file and you operating system is halted.
Targeted protection. Another common feature is the ability to scan individual files, which is especially useful if you are unsure about a program or file you’ve downloaded.
Start-up scans. Some viruses are able to beat the removal tools of the virus protection software and they replicate themselves. For this reason, most products have a boot-up scan option which allows users to remove threats before they have time to run their code during start up.
Information security. The darker recesses of the internet are awash with stolen personal information, gathered using malware that installs on computers. For this reason alone, having the protection of a virus protection program that will detect viruses such as the “Conficker” worm is vital.
Types of Viruses
Everyone fears being attacked by a computer virus, but few computer users show any interest in learning about virus protection. Researchers who spend a lot of time learning and understanding computer viruses, have categorized such viruses into 9 basic categories:
Boot Sector Virus: This kind of browser attack infects the boot sector of a PC, thereby corrupting the computer altogether.
Browser Hijacker: This type of virus spreads through voluntary downloads of files which, at first, seems harmless. It seizes certain browser functions and continuously redirects the browser to an unknown destination.
Direct Action Virus: This virus is considered “non-resident” and only becomes active when the file containing the virus is opened.
File Infector Virus: This virus takes shelter in a file, and becomes active when the file is executed. It attaches itself to files such as word processors, spreadsheet applications or computer games. It damages data or part of information in the file, thus disturbing the entire operation related with the file.
Macro Virus: This affects certain common programs and codes. Such programs destabilize other files, thus making an overall disruption in the computer function.
Polymorphic Virus: This virus mutates over time. That means after each activity, it changes the way it looks, to make detection more difficult. It also changes encryption algorithm periodically, thus guarding itself against virus protection software.
Multipartite Virus: This virus attracts a computer from various angles, i.e. corrupting different types of operating programs at a time.
Resident Virus: It resides in the system’s memory and infect any file on a computer. It doesn’t depend on supporting files once entered into the computer system.
Web Scripting Virus: Many websites execute complex codes to provide interesting content for the user, but these codes may sometimes pose serious problems by bringing viruses into the system without any knowledge of the webmaster.
Trojan Virus: In Homer’s epic Illiad, Trojan was a tactic adopted by Greek army to hide in giant wooden horses, which were sent as a gift to the city of Troy. Similarly, Trojan viruses disguise themselves as a document or file of interest. These viruses normally don’t multiply themselves, but weaken the computer system or virus protection software, thus making the computer susceptible to other kinds of attacks.
Worm Virus: This type of virus is a program which once inside a computer system, multiplies and scans for faults and loop-holes in the computer virus protection system. It then attempts to spread through a large network by taking advantage of the weaker aspects of the virus protection system.
E-mail Virus: As the name suggests, it comes by hiding itself in some interesting or important email. Once opened, it enters into the user’s computer, thus making it vulnerable to certain kinds of attacks, damages or disruptions.
Different Aspects of Virus Protection
Computers, both with and without access to the Internet, need to be completely protected from viruses of any kind. As data sharing through the Internet becomes a norm, viruses flourish side by side. Like biological viruses, protection from computer viruses is also possible through mass awareness and adoption of proper preventive methods. Here are some very common preventive steps which one can follow to keep the viruses at bay:
The user should use the best antivirus or virus protection software available. It’s not hard to find the most suitable antivirus software, you can find the one that best suits your needs here. It should have a top-notch scanning system, big database of existing viruses and the ability to regularly update their database, since thousands of new viruses are released every day.
Fully backing up your whole system regularly is a must. If possible, such backup can be stored in multiple locations.
Do not to read unsolicited emails or download from unknown senders or links.
Strictly following the instructions of the virus protection software that you downloaded (#1) can keep the system clean and virus free. So making sure you upgrade your virus protection software regularly is necessary.
All these steps keep your computer and network systems healthy and protected from external threats. A little knowledge and proper Internet browsing can keep your system in fine tune.
Proactive Virus Protection
In addition to using a solid virus protection software, there are several simple rules that you should always follow to ensure you stay safe while browsing online.
The first step is to strengthen passwords that you use to log into social media, online banking and other Internet services. It may be common sense, but you should always avoid using simple number based passwords, birth dates, places, or common names that can be easily guessed or hacked.
Many celebrities have fallen prey to hackers by choosing passwords which can be answered by a ‘security question’ which anyone is able to view, so avoid having a password that anyone can guess if they were to view your security questions. It’s a good idea to include a variety of numbers and letters, upper and lower case if possible, to make your account password more secure. It’s is also wise to use different passwords for different accounts, just in case there is a security breach so that you want have all of your accounts compromised should someone hack into one.
Stay Safe on Social Media
Always avoid placing any personal details, such as your home address, telephone number or children’s school name on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. There are reports of thieves using public Facebook accounts as a way to view when users are going on holiday. It’s a good idea to set your profile visibility to ‘friends only’, this way strangers can’t view your updates or know about your whereabouts. It is also worth clearing out your friends list several times a year to ensure that people who can see what you are up to are trustworthy and good friends as opposed to acquaintances who may have ill intentions.
Check Your Phone’s Privacy Settings
Go into your settings in your phone and make sure that your GPS location settings are turned off. Otherwise your whereabouts are constantly broadcasted to the world.
Get the Right Package for Your Needs
For choosing the right virus protection package decide on what features would be ideal for your circumstances. Most products provide the basic features, but added incentives such as multi-device protection, data back-up and application analysis will suit certain user habits and requirements.