Today, almost 100% of personal computers have anti-virus software to protect us from “disgusting little things” that can infect our machines.
But many people do not know how the anti-virus really works and how it identifies a file as malicious.
How can we get viruses?
The majority of malicious programs that infect our computers comes from the Internet, but not exclusively there. They can also be transmitted by inserting a pen drive with infected files, data CDs or DVDs, and any other device that is capable of storing files.
Also remember that smartphones, smart TVs, tablets and other mobile devices may also contain malicious files. Some viruses are made exclusively to harm your mobile device.
But what is the function of a virus? Why are they created?
Viruses are created for many reasons. The most common are to collect data such as passwords and credit card numbers, to force the user to use some software, such as programs that replace your browser settings, and even damage the hardware of your computer.
How antivirus detects the virus?
Let’s imagine the following situation: your computer is a plane and the Internet (or removable media) is the airport. At the airport, anyone can pass quietly, being malicious or not. But to get on your plane, it is necessary that all programs go through a check-in, which is performed by the anti-virus.
Then the anti-virus prompts the program your identification document. The anti-virus compares the type of code the program uses (or document) and compares it to the database. If this code (or document) is in the anti-virus database (or wanted list), the program is removed or prevented from entering his plane.
If any program is considered suspicious by anti-virus, but this is not found in the database as malicious, it is sent to quarantine (or the airport containment), where it should be for a period until the database is updated with that kind of code to compare. If after this period, usually 40 days, there is in the database any code that looks like the program that is in quarantine, it is released to board the plane (in this case your computer).
And if some malicious file “embark” on my computer?
The anti-virus features, besides verifying the input (or installation) testing while the programs are working, called heuristic analysis. Let’s imagine that within your plane have many guards who are walking the halls all the time, to make sure everything is in order.
When they realize some suspicious attitude of some program, issue a warning for you to choose to move it to quarantine or remove it from your computer.
But sometimes, the guards take the wrong programs for presenting suspicious attitudes, even if their intentions are not bad. This occurs with some software that you know you are not malicious. In this case, you must inform the anti-virus that it is a false positive. In other words, it means that his actions seem suspicious, but you are sure that your intentions aren’t bad.
Of course, only select a program to false-positive if you really know that it is not a virus.
So if the anti-virus does not identify the file as virus, it can be trusted?
In computing, unfortunately, we are never 100% protected, only less susceptible. Even if you have an anti-virus does not mean that you can trust fully in his work. It prevents always with all possible tools.
Only the anti-virus is enough to protect me?
No. By the way, it is recommended that you have a firewall enabled (usually only the Windows firewall itself is sufficient), stay up to date anti-virus and your Operating System, as updates will be with the latest databases on your computer. Our attitudes at the computer must be prudent, because we should not simply click miraculous advertisements such as “Lose Weight in 7 days”, for example. We should avoid also open e-mail attachments with unknown sender or in another language. NEVER OPEN ATTACHMENTS E-MAIL BANK, as banks use the emails only to inform the user and never to ask the same download dockets. The bank records shall be sent to you if you personally ask at your agency. So, in any way click on attachments of emails banking, even if it appears with your bank. Take care also emails with fines, because these files are most likely infected.
Well folks, as we see today, antivirus are our good friends, allowing us to access the Internet more safely and reliably. So keep it up to date to prevent an infection of some “thing disgusting” that is circulating on the Internet. We will see in future posts as the Firewall works and how it helps your antivirus to combat the “dirty little creatures”.
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