All You Need to Know About Antivirus Software and How it works! 

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Photo by Markus Spiske  on Unsplash

You must have heard about the antivirus software, but it’s time to go in detail. Let’s start with the basics.

What is a computer virus? 

A computer virus is one type of malicious code or program written to change the way a computer operates and is designed to spread from one system to another. In easy terms, a computer virus is similar to the flu virus, which can reproduce itself. All it needs is a host cell like file or document for reproduction. When a virus infects a computer system, it makes changes to your files and affects the critical areas. Just like a human virus, a computer virus can be infectious and damage the computer system badly. Frequent pop-up windows, changes to your homepage, unexpected crashes, slower system performance, entry of unknown programs are signs of computer viruses.

How to secure your system from such viruses? 

You have two options to remove the virus from your system. One is the manual do-it-yourself, and the second one is to have a reputable antivirus program.

What is an Antivirus Program? 

An antivirus program is a powerful piece of software that acts as a health inspector for the computer system. An antivirus program is designed to detect, prevent, and take action on viruses. It keeps a safety check and protects the computer from incoming viruses. It works differently. Check out the 2 of them bellow.

1. On-Access-Scanning

In On-Access scanning, the antivirus program runs in the background and checks every file you open. When you double click on the EXE file, it may seem like the file opened immediately, but it doesn’t. The on-Access antivirus program first checks the file, compares it to the known viruses, malware, and other threats. You can ignore the on-access scanning, but this isn’t a good idea.

2. Full System Scanning

A full system scan is not required when you already have on-access scanning. Full system scans can be useful when you install the antivirus software for the first time. It detects the virus if and ensures to make the system virus-free. Full system scanning can also be useful when you repair your computer.

How the Antivirus detects Virus?

Signature detection: Antivirus uses the virus signature to protect your computer from malware. The signature is a static fingerprint of known malware. All files that enter your system goes through the antivirus scan. Whenever you click on a new or old file, Antivirus uses this signature database to check the files. For example, if you click on the “mysubject.exe” and if it is virus affected, the Antivirus checks the file against the signature database and blocks the file if the result is positive.

Heuristic detection: This method is usually used along with the signature method, but it doesn’t use the signatures for scanning. The heuristic method aims mainly at detecting new viruses that have not yet been discovered. It is the most known method to detect new viruses.

Behavioral detection: As the name suggests, the behavioral detection method is based on the characteristics of malware during execution. After passing the above two detections, Antivirus begins to perform behavioral detection. This detection happens only when the malware performs actions. This detection method is mainly useful for finding viruses that attempt to steal or log information.

Data mining detection: Data mining is the latest trend in detecting the virus. It uses a set of programs to find if the file is malicious or not.

It’s best to prevent the problem from happening by installing antivirus software before the damage. An antivirus program is a deep subject, and a thick book could be written on this, but we hope this article brought you enough information.

Be safe and keep your system safe!

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