Antivirus software mainly prevents and removes computer viruses, including worms and trojans. These programs can also detect and remove adware, spyware, and other forms of malware. Despite these added protection to our computers, antivirus software have drawbacks. To be able to protect our computers from virus, the antivirus software needs to run continuously to be able to scan our files and other folders while we are working on our computer. Because of this prerequisite of antivirus software, it may cause a significant decline in computer performance.
Until a couple of years ago people only had to worry about viruses – programs created with the sole purpose of doing mischief by either damaging or deleting the data on your computer. These are still around and getting more sophisticated by the day, which is why anti-virus software is so important. To be able to address the needs of the users, antivirus software developed three different types of detection methods: signature based detection, malicious activity detection and heuristic-based detection.
Signature based detection is the most common method employed by antivirus software. When your antivirus software uses this type of detection, it compares the contents of a file to a dictionary of virus signatures. A virus signature is the viral code. If a virus signature is found in a file the antivirus software can resort to some combination of quarantine, repair or deletion. If a file repair operation fails, usually the best thing to do is to just delete the file. Deleting the file is necessary if the entire file is infected. The down side of the signature based detection is those new viruses are being created every day, because of this, the antivirus needs to be updated every time to protect your computer from new virus.
In malicious activity detection, antivirus software monitors the system for suspicious program behavior and does not rely on virus signatures as the first line of defense. If suspicious behavior is detected, the suspect program may be further investigated, using signature based detection. The suspicious behavior approach provides protection against zero day viruses that are not yet in the dictionary. However, it can also sound a large number of false positives and users may become desensitized to the warnings.
The last type of virus detection is the heuristic based detection. This can be accomplished in one of two ways: file analysis and file emulation. File analysis is the process by which antivirus software will analyze the instructions of a program. Based on the instructions, the software can determine whether or not the program is malicious. The second heuristic approach is file emulation, which runs the target file in a virtual system environment, separate from the real system environment.
Internet Security Protection
When a computer connects to a network and begins communicating with others, it is taking a risk. Internet security involves the protection of a computer’s internet account and files from intrusion of an unknown user. In 2002, more than 10 million people were victims of identity theft, costing the average victim more than $1,000 and a year’s time to repair their credit. Over 90% of computer users have dangerous “spyware” lurking on their computers without their knowledge. Today, a typical online PC is “scanned” by outside intruders twelve times every day.
Different spyware and malware can infect you while using the internet. Internet security software protects you from the web sites you browse on the Internet, adware and pop-ups that load onto your computer, results of your Internet searches, unusual eCommerce sites you visit, software you download onto your computer from the Internet, and the weaknesses in the operating system software you are using.
|Antivirus||Internet Security Protection|
|Generally protects against virus infection||Generally protects against spyware|
|Viruses damage your data||Spyware steals your private info|
|Protects you from virus written by hackers||Protects you from spyware written by professional
online criminal organization
|Normally Cannot detect spyware||Can detect and prevent spyware|
|Most computers are sufficiently protected with antivirus||Very few computers are protected with internet
|The threat against antivirus is decreasing||The threat against internet security protection is
Be sure to read our AntiVirus Reviews and Compare the Top AntiVirus and Internet Security Vendors side-by-side to find the product that best suits your needs. Not all AntiVirus and Internet Security Packages are created equal – beware of the system resource hogs!