Basic Introduction to Anti-Virus

Basic Introduction to Anti-Virus

Antivirus is a term given to protection software specifically designed to protect computers from all kinds of viruses harmful to a computer system. It also provides protection against malicious software including viruses, keyloggers, hijackers, and Trojans.

A computer virus is a small program or software code that replicates and spreads from one computer to another. An entry of this code into any computer drastically interferes with the operation and function of the computer. Such codes are generally attached to programs like Excel, Word, Outlook, Power Point, and Word Perfect. When these programs are run, the attached virus activates and causes a wide range of problems including file corruption, data deletion, and spam.

Viruses typically spread across networks via email, download, or shared disk. If an infected file is attached to any of these sources, the specified computer system is designed to infect by opening infected files. Some of the common signs that indicate a viral infection are slow operation, frequent restart, application malfunction, printing problem, unusual error message, frequent hang, distorted menus and dialog boxes, and double extension in any attached file .

Computer viruses are very prevalent in today’s world. A new virus is introduced every day, and therefore the system must be updated at regular intervals to ensure that the system is free from viral infection. There are mainly two approaches to identify and destroy all infected system files.

The first approach is the virus dictionary approach that looks at all the basic information about viruses, their threats, their behavior, and their causes. When a new virus is introduced, the data is entered into the dictionary by downloading updates. Various antivirus software programs use this information to identify and destroy suspicious and threatening files and attachments. Although this is a very effective program, sometimes it does not work effectively. This is because it can only detect viruses whose information is entered in the dictionary. This approach does not consider any other suspicious movements, and therefore another approach is given more preference.

The second approach is the Suspicious Behavior Approach that monitors the characteristics and behavior of all programs running on the computer. This approach detects any type of suspicious movement such as virus infection and then sends a warning message to the user to ensure proper action at the right time. This approach is comparatively more effective than the dictionary approach, since it does not depend on any kind of dictionary or stored information.

Sometimes even the suspicious behavior approach can give a false warning, but the user must be well versed in the technology. A good knowledge and understanding of computers and all kinds of threats that affect the system is very important to ensure a high level of protection against viruses and other threats.

For more information, see the antivirus software.

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