Thursday, January 23, 2014

Protecting your System Against Viruses & Malware

Computer viruses are self-replicating, meaning they have the ability to copy themselves to all partitions and connected devices. It’s a well-known fact that there is no single device like internal/ external hard disk, USB flash drive, DVD ROM which wouldn’t infect by viruses. Viruses perform sort of harmful activities in background without user attention.

Antivirus programs play a critical role in detecting and removing viruses. An antivirus program works in two ways- it scans for signatures and heuristic detectors. In the former case, it scans for known threats and viruses which are identified in the research lab. In the latter case, it scans for suspicious behaviour of files and unknown viruses. Thus usually signature detectors have greater chances of detecting genuine viruses since they are already proved/ identified in company’s research lab. That is why you’re recommended to update virus database on a regular basis. Updated virus database identifies more viruses, reduces chances of false positives. On the other hand, as long as heuristic detectors are concerned, some files may not be virus but they are detected just because of their runtime behaviour. There are chances of false positives in the case of heuristic detectors.

Viruses are known to be found in the form of.exe, .bat, .com and some other file extensions. Many of us are unaware of the fact that viruses sometime make their file icon look like a folder or an image so that the user opens it without suspecting. Despite this some viruses save themselves into MS Office macros and rogue software programs.These are some important things that you have to remember in order to take care of your computer security. You’ll have to avoid downloading files from untrusted sources, avoid opening files and email attachments before they are scanned for viruses. If you’re connecting a new device like external hard disk, USB flash drive or CD/ DVD then you should scan it immediately. While surfing on the Internet, use a website popularity displayer.You need to get a powerful Antivirus software which has several features such as antivirus, malware/ spyware/ adware/ Trojan horse/ keygen scanner and Firewall protection. A good antivirus should contain all these features in order to protect your computer. This is because viruses are of different types and you must be prepared to fight with dangerous threats found nowadays.

As I have previously stated, you must update your antivirus software on a regular basis. Not only the virus definitions but also the main engine, i.e. update to the latest version of the software available on the Internet.

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