Anti Virus Software: Prevention Against Malicious Codes

1853 words - 8 pages

Introduction
In the current scenario of interminably growing technology, the computers and information technology have become an integral part of the lives. One of the biggest challenges faced by this growing Information Technology is the protection from malicious programs. These malicious programs may be developed by lone teenagers, organized criminal syndicates or even nation states, and distributed across a range of computing platforms. Anti-Virus software is the one of the most widely accepted measures for prevention against such malicious codes.

1. What is Anti-Virus software?
An antivirus (or anti-virus) software is a program that helps to detect and prevent the computers and other IT systems from any malicious codes or programs like viruses, worms, trojans etc. They protect the computer systems from these programs, which are ‘deliberately designed to harm the computer systems by altering system’s operation, deleting data, sharing sensitive information, infecting and spreading to other systems and various other ways.’[1]

1.1 Evaluating Anti-virus protection
Earlier the term “anti-virus” was specifically used for the programs, which identified and removed some particular kind of programs from computer systems called virus. However, presently antivirus programs refer to the programs that help to prevent from ‘a range of other malicious codes like spyware, trojans, adware, ransomware and many more.’[2]
Benefits of using anti-virus
With the advent of ever-increasing cyber crime, Internet has become a susceptible medium for causing harm to users. There is a strong likelihood that even the security professionals can sometime fall prey to some kind of malware or become a victim of online scam.
Few of the benefits offered by antivirus solutions are as follows-
• Protection from viruses
Viruses are of multiple types and can do a lot of damage to computing systems and compromise the information contained in them. The users are usually tricked into downloading files containing viruses through email scams, phishing websites etc.
These viruses can reduce the processing speed of systems, tamper with critical files or may even cause physical damages to systems.
• Spyware and Identity Protection
Spyware are aimed at infecting computers to obtain personal information that may comprise of financial data, credit card information or any other sensitive data it can detect. Similarly identity theft can cause victims to lose their information that may lead to financial as well as psychological harm.
• Protection from Spam
Spam can be a result of virus stored onto computers. These bombard the computers with unwanted emails and advertisements. Installing antivirus solutions can also help to reduce the spam.
The antivirus also helps to prevent the systems to send unknown emails to other systems that may harm personal or business reputation
• Prevents downtime-
Virus infection can lead to system downtimes and it may take prolonged time to recover the full...

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