Choosing An Antivirus Program


It’s quite possible you’re inundated on a daily basis with spam email and undesirable pop-ups which advertise the most current in spy-ware and antivirus protection. As un-amusing and counter intuitive as it might be, the powerful differences between competing antivirus application developers is so tight, so that the manufactures of antivirus programs are ready to exploit your computers flaws to promote their solutions.

The sheer size and efficiency of the internet as well its billion-plus users makes new computer viruses even more dangerous and more expensive than ever. Viruses can literally spread across the planet in just minutes, effecting thousands of unprotected and unprepared users and businesses almost instantly and simultaneously. The demand for antivirus protection is of utmost concern for virtually all PC users.

First Things First: What IS a Computer Virus?

To be considered a real computer Virus, a program requires the ability to replicate itself and activate its action at specified events. A computer virus is only one of three different types of programs called “malware”. “Malware” are software designed to damage, steal or delete your information, hijack your computer and even harm or destroy your computers hardware. The 3 kinds of “malware” you want to concern yourself with are Viruses, Trojans and Worms. Most antivirus programs are designed to detect and defend your PC from all three dangers.

What Does an Antivirus Program Do?

Antivirus programs take two common approaches to recognize risks to your computer.

1. Signature Detection: Via Signature Detection an antivirus application scans your computer, drives and storage devices for documents which include a code it recognizes as a virus version.

2. Task: An antivirus program will track the activity on your computer for suspicious behaviors i.e. alteration of system folders or files and unauthorized connections to the internet to name two.

Signature detection normally requires the maker of an antivirus application to acquire a copy of a particular virus and reverse-engineer it to get markers applicable to its programming. These markers are then loaded into your antivirus software via upgrades. Signature detection is a solid methodology for detecting and protecting against computer viruses, however it may be rendered useless when confronted with a virus for which is has no significance.

Antivirus programs that scan for possible computer virus activity can be useful at discovering the latest threats than those reliant on signature detection. It’s important to remember that because many applications do the same activities as a virus – writing and altering system files such as – a user may quickly become inundated with unnecessary and numerous warnings by antivirus programs that use this method for detection.

Most of the”solid” antivirus programs use a combination of both trademark detection and virus action to secure your computer against threats.

How to Pick the Antivirus Program That’s Perfect for You

If you try surfing the internet for insight into what is the best antivirus program or manufacturer, you will soon find yourself neck deep in a sea of ads which profess themselves to be legitimate and unbiased evaluators of the available programs. The reality is, of the big producers, no one solution can provide for all your potential needs. All of them have instances where they aren’t as successful as the competition at discovering or removing a particular infection or threat. There are a number of great Antivirus software and manufacturers all vying for your business, be it for personal or business use, and deciding on the right application or manufacturer to your computer security can normally return to a few straightforward questions.

How at Risk Are You Really?

Asking yourself this question might be the first and most significant step toward choosing what level of protection you require, and how much money you’re prepared to spend, on Antivirus protection. Risk generally equates to a computers vulnerability to external applications, connections or files. In the event that you were to run a computer which would never come into contact with any application or document not manufactured by a safe source, then you have almost no demand for an Antivirus program. To put it simply, if you never intend to connect your computer to the internet, download files with it or upload”in danger” files from external data sources, you should have no need for Antivirus software.

If you’re a casual user who maybe connects to the internet on occasion through a temporary or dial up connection and just upload or download files and apps from reasonably secure sources, your need for an antivirus program is apparent, however, your risk may be minimal. In this scenario the types and range of protective software can be kept to a minimum; a simple antivirus program designed to scan your hard disk for infections should give you the security that you want. There are many excellent antivirus programs that will fit this need available as shareware – a free download – throughout the internet.

Now, if you’re like what I’d consider to be the vast majority of today’s computer users, you’re a high risk user and require a large array of the most current antivirus programs available. For those who have a broadband internet connection which keeps your computer on the internet 24/7. If you upload and download files and software from arbitrary and un-trusted resources, then you want to invest in very comprehensive security for your computer. High risk users must invest in an antivirus program that provides real time scanning of incoming and outgoing connections or documents, a firewall to prevent unauthorized access to a PC via an open broadband connection, a pop-up blocker that prevents your computers internet browser from being hijacked and adware scanners that detect pop-up, spy-ware, tracking and redirection program.

Are you currently Purchasing for Business or Home?

Antivirus software manufactured for business and home can be two very different applications both in price and effectiveness. Home versions generally cost less and come with fewer options than business based antivirus programs. Generally the home user doesn’t need the additional functionality built into business versions and therefore, I wouldn’t recommend a home user speculate in an antivirus solution designed for business.

Fantastic antivirus software designed for business is focused on security, both from internal and external threats, in addition to ease of maintenance. Most corporate versions of antivirus applications allow for a central point of management over whole networks. Protection can be split between internet or application servers and individual PCs. New software updates are usually”pushed” from a central application server during the whole system, allowing for simplicity and assure-ity of a community’s defense. Most times, corporate versions of antivirus applications don’t permit individual users within a network to make modifications to their protection configurations; this is of crucial significance when considering overall network security and stability.

As a business buying a corporate course antivirus suite, it’s important your protection extends to every individual user that will access your system. Exchange/mail and internet server security is crucial, in addition to protection for mission-critical file and application servers. It’s a great guideline for IT managers within corporate environments to presume that all their customers will do everything in their power to infect corporate equipment with threats and viruses. Though this most certainly isn’t true, assuming that consumers understand how to protect themselves or their company computer environment from disease is ordinarily professional suicide for the IT manger in charge.

Antivirus software for business is usually loaded with more choices than applications built for home, and as such is often times a lot more costly on a whole. Normally business antivirus programs come as a server based program. Clients, or additional permits, are purchased for each computer or user that connects to the antivirus server.

Choosing An Antivirus Program
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