What Is Antivirus Software?

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Introduction – What’s a Computer Virus?

A computer virus is a computer program that can copy itself and infect a computer. The term “virus” is also commonly but erroneously used to refer to other types of malware, including but not limited to adware and spyware programs that do not have the ability to reproduce themselves like viruses.

Computer Viruses can spread from one computer to another via floppy disk, CDs, DVDs, USB “flash” drives, hence the word “Sneakernet” was introduced. A virus can also spread itself via other means such as network, email, P2P downloads and untrusted websites.

If you visit a site that has a trojan (a trojan appears to be something legitimate but isn’t) what can happen is that this virus can fool even the most savvy computer user because of the way it hides in plain sight-just like the Trojan War Horse. It can look so real that you’ll lower your guard and the virus gets by you.  Often, a trojan is downloaded onto your computer in the form of a program or other files. When you open the file, especially the .exe file, this virus begins to attack your computer and often corrupts or even destroys your data.

Where Do Computer Viruses Come from?

Computer viruses are a threat to most computer users.  But have you ever asked yourself “where do computer viruses come from“? Perhaps with this knowledge you will be able to enjoy all the benefits of your PC without becoming a virus victim.

Behind every virus is a computer programmer. They create viruses for a variety of reasons. It may be to demonstrate skill. It may be eager students seeking admiration from their fellows. But more often than not viruses are created by cyber-criminals. They are designed to steal or copy your personal data for financial gain. It may be to gain access to passwords or credit card details. It may be to use your Internet connection without your knowledge for illegal purposes. Or it may just be to bombard you with spam and bogus advertisements just for the hell of it.

I am not sure where viruses come from, but I do know who benefits the most from them, that would be the antivirus companies. Now I am not accusing anyone, but I am just saying. Think about it, you have to constantly update virus signature files and renew your subscription at least annually. To renew, you have to pay a fee. Imagine the sum of money that is made due to millions of people paying to renew there virus subscription each year.

Antivirus Software

What is antivirus software? Is it really worth the cost? The official definition is that it’s software used to keep a computer protected from viruses or other threats. Threats can lurk online even on sites that appear completely harmless.  What you can’t see, however, is software designed to keep your computer safe from virus attacks. Antivirus will usually works behind the scene on your computer. it is designed to spring into action if a viruses is detected or trying to gain access to your computer. The right software can run scans and alert you to a problem long before it ever becomes one.

Some programs are so sensitive, you’ll get a warning when you visit a site that contains harmful or threatening code. So when you’re tempted to question ‘what is antivirus software’ and wonder if it’s worth buying remember that it’s the first line of defense between malicious viruses and your computer’s hard drive.

If It’s Free, It Can’t be very Good! Right?… Wrong!

A few months ago, I was working on a client’s laptop who had committed two cardinal sins:

  1. She allowed her virus software subscription to expire and…
  2. She received an email from someone she did not recognize and clicked on it.

This lead to all sorts of nasty things happening to her laptop. While working to clean up the mess that she made, I happen to suggest that she try or use AVG Free edition until she replaced or renewed her virus software, to which she responded “If It’s Free, It Can’t be very Good”.

I am amazed at people who think that because a product is free or open source that it’s not good. To me, they are what I call a “Retailers best Friend”. What these people fail to realize is that there are several commercial applications that were once share or free-ware. The most popular one that comes to mind is WinZip.

I highly recommend AVG Free. I have used it for years and have never had a virus. In fact, I prefer the free version more so than I do the purchased version, which I have been a user of in past years.

Get a Copy of AVG FREE Edition

To not have antivirus software on your PC, is suicidal. Especially when you can get a copy free. To download a copy, visit the following website ==> http://www.free.avg.com. To see more detailed info watch the video at the top of this blog post.

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