Antivirus: Your Shield in Cyber Warfare
Hidden in the virtual world that we create daily, there are viruses lurking around that can potentially cause damage to our digital identities. Because of this, we need to have a digital shield to protect ourselves from it: antivirus software. In this article, we will be discussing everything you need to know about antivirus and why it is essential in the digital age.
What is Antivirus Software?
Antivirus software, also known as anti-malware software, is a program that protects computers and devices from malicious software, including viruses, worms, Trojans, spyware, adware, and other forms of malicious software that can infect computers and devices.
These malicious software can infiltrate computer systems through different ways, such as downloading software infected with malware or clicking a link with harmful software. Once it has successfully infiltrated the computer system, it can cause damage and steal sensitive information such as financial records, personal identification, and other important records. Antivirus software acts as the first line of defense against these potential threats.
How Does Antivirus Software Work?
Antivirus software operates in a similar way to how our immune systems work to fight off foreign agents that can cause harm to our bodies. The device or computer acts as the host, and the antivirus software is the defense system that identifies and eliminates potential threats.
When the antivirus software is installed on the device, it will continuously scan the device or computer system to detect any suspicious activity. It uses signature detection, behavior detection, and heuristic analysis to track down potential malware and eliminate them. The signature detection method scans files that have been identified by the antivirus software vendor as risky. Behavior detection, on the other hand, monitors the system activity for any unusual behavior. Heuristic analysis examines files and looks for patterns that could suggest malware.
Once any suspicious activity is detected, the antivirus program will either quarantine or delete the infected files. In some cases, it may also alert the user about the potential threat and ask what action to take.
Why Do You Need Antivirus Software?
The answer is simple: it’s essential. The digital world is filled with potential online threats. Cybercriminals are becoming more sophisticated in their tactics to infiltrate computer systems and obtain sensitive data. Whether you are using a personal computer, laptop, tablet, or phone, you are at risk. In fact, studies show that the number of malware attacks is increasing every day, making it more crucial to have antivirus software installed on your devices.
Antivirus software is especially important for businesses. Companies are at higher risk of being targeted by cybercriminals since they hold sensitive information such as trade secrets, personal information, and financial records. Cybercrime is not only financially damaging but can destroy a company's reputation.
One example of a cyber attack is the WannaCry Ransomware attack that happened in 2017. The Xinhua News Agency reported that it infected over 200,000 computers in 150 countries. The attack locked users out of their devices and demanded a ransom payment in exchange for access to their files. Though the attack was eventually stopped, experts estimate that the total cost to businesses was between $4 billion to $8 billion.
The Need for Continued Updating and Maintenance
It is not enough to install antivirus software and forget about it. Antivirus software needs to be updated regularly to ensure that it is functioning to its full capacity and catching new threats. Antivirus software vendors continuously update their software, adding new signatures and updating the software regularly to keep up with the ever-evolving threats in the digital world.
It is also important to maintain the health of your computer by running software scans regularly. Some antivirus software has different scanning options, such as full, quick, or custom scans. Running these scans regularly can ensure that your device or computer is free from any potential threats.
Antivirus Software vs. Firewall
It is important not to confuse antivirus software with a firewall. A firewall is a software or hardware that acts as a barrier between your device or computer and the internet. It filters and blocks incoming traffic that potentially poses a threat to your computer or device.
Antivirus software, on the other hand, focuses on detecting and eliminating malware threats after it has penetrated the firewall.
The digital world is a place of endless possibilities, but it can also be a dangerous place. To ensure that we are fully protected, we need to have digital shields such as antivirus software installed on our devices. Antivirus software acts as a digital immune system that identifies and eliminates potential threats, making it as crucial as locking your doors at night. Remember to update and maintain your antivirus software, and always be aware of potential threats from suspicious emails, websites, or links. By doing so, you are doing your part in protecting yourself from cyber threats.