The internet revolutionized the world by redefining communication and giving us access to an unprecedented wealth of information. It has made the exchange of ideas and cultural exchange swift and effortless. However, with this convenience comes the threat of cybersecurity breaches. From malware to viruses, the internet is infested with malicious software. To keep your computer, smartphone, and personal data safe from e-criminals, you need to install reliable antivirus software. In this article, we'll explore the basics of antivirus software, how it works, and why it's essential in today's digital age.
What is Antivirus Software?
Antivirus software is a program that scans your device for malware and removes it. It provides an extra layer of protection against any virus that may penetrate your device via emails, attachments downloads, and internet traffic. The software runs in the background, preventing and detecting threats even before they infiltrate your system. An antivirus program can be compared to a security guard outside your house, scanning to ensure that only authorized persons gain access to your property.
Types of antivirus software
There are several types of antivirus software available in the market, each with its specific features and prices.
Free antivirus software- these are popular among people who don't want to spend money on antivirus software but still need a basic level of protection. Free antivirus software is often not as robust as paid versions, and the protection they offer is sometimes limited to viruses only.
Paid antivirus software- These are the most reliable types of antivirus software. They provide full protection against several threats, such as ransomware, spyware, malware, and virus. You may need to upgrade to a higher version for more sophisticated features such as identity theft protection, parental controls, VPN, and file encryption.
Cloud-based Antivirus Software- These are hosted online, offering protection against newly emerging threats instead of only old malware. Since they're updated frequently, cloud-based antivirus software offers greater protection from new threats compared to traditional antivirus software.
How does an antivirus software work?
Antivirus software works by identifying and removing malware, viruses, and any other suspicious software on your device. The program runs continuously in the background, scanning files and documents for any indications of malicious software.
When a virus or malware is detected, the antivirus program will either quarantine or delete it. Files that are quarantined are suppressed and sealed away, and allowing the antivirus team to study and analyze it. Not only do you get a warning that some files are infected, but the antivirus program also provides details on how serious the problem is, allowing you to take the necessary steps for further action.
Why is antivirus software essential?
With the world more reliant on the internet than ever before, having antivirus software is no longer optional. Cyber threats can come from anywhere and can compromise your data, information, and privacy. Here are several reasons why you need antivirus software:
1. Protects your confidential information - Antivirus software is your first line of defense against hacking incidents. With proper protection, your personal data and sensitive information such as social security numbers, bank account details, and passwords, are kept secure.
2. Protects your email - Most malware enters your device via email attachments. Antivirus software scans your email for incoming malware and viruses, notifying you if it finds anything suspicious, so it's less likely that you or any other recipients of the email will open infected attachments.
3. Identifies phishing attempts - In addition to detecting known viruses, antivirus software can detect phishing attacks aimed to steal personal information like credit card numbers frequently.
4. Protects your device and network - Antivirus software protects your computer or device and your network from cybercriminals who can install malware or spyware on your device, allowing them to control your system remotely.
5. Provides online protection - Antivirus software can protect you while browsing the internet, scanning files that you download and websites that you visit for any malicious codes.
Antivirus software is an essential piece of software to have on your device, and its importance cannot be overemphasized. Protecting your device from malware, viruses, and other cyber threats is critical to keeping your personal and sensitive information safe. Now that you know what antivirus software is, how it works, and why it's essential, ensure you have one on your device to safeguard against cybercriminals.