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Basic concepts and terms

related to virus and anti-virus software

This page will introduce you to the basic terminology used Anti-virus software. This is to help you understand what each term means and what feature you need to select in order to protect your computer.


Does antivirus software need to be updated?

All antivirus software needs to be up-to-date in order to protect for your computer from the latest viruses and other malicious programs. All antivirus software contains a database with information about viruses. This database needs to be update to get the information on the latest viruses. You need to check the date of the definition file on your computer. If the date on the definiton file is not the current's date, you need to update the definition file manually buy clicking on the LIVE UPDATE button. This function contacts the vendor's website and updates the antivirus engine (database) with the latest definition file. The antivirus software comes with the Live Update function setup automatically to run everyday. If by any chance the setting is changed, you will need to change the settings so it will performe the update automatically everyday.

What happens if I don't renew my subscription with the antivirus vendor?

If you don't renew your subscription, your antivirus software won't be getting the latest definiton files. You computer will be running an old engine (out-of-date database) that won't protect your computer from new viruses.

Do I need to scan my computers to check for viruses

Antivirus software is running on the background of your computer all the time to check for viruses and other malware. Nevertheless, you need to run the full scan in your computer at least once a month (or prefer method - once a week) to detect any virus not detected by the background scan. T

Does Mac OS and Linux OS computers need antivirus software?

Even thou there might not be a known virus targetting Mac OS X or linux OS pc, you may better be safe by protecting your data. There are different software vendors with antivirus version for this operating system.

 Computer Virus
A computer virus is defined as a computer program that will infect (damage) or destroyed its host system and can copy itself and infect other computers in order to destroy or cause damage to other systems as well.
Worms are computer programs that replicate themselves across the network automatically or through any computer security flaws, not as a virus that is dependent of a host file or other medium to transfer itself between computers. Nevertheless, the security threat they represent is the same as the virus destroying files on a computer or slowing the computer down or even making some programs to stop working.
 Trojan Horse
These malicious programs look like a legitimate program, but they are a harmful piece of software that may cause different actions in the computer such as data theft, deletion of files, keystroke logging, crashing the computer, etc. Its primary function is to give hackers access to system files. These types of infections don’t reproduce by infecting other files nor do they self-replicate like worms.
Logic Bombs
These infections are not considered to be a virus because they don’t replicate. Logic Bomb infections work as Time bomb. The malicious code is downloaded in the target computer. The logic bomb is executed when a specific time and date trigger is met. Then the computer starts malfunctioning or performing any activity contained in the malicious code.
These are another type of mailicious softtware that accesses the users computer without the user's consetn in order to do damage or disrupt a system. Some books include viruses, Trojan horses and womrs as type fo malware. malware has a population growth of Zero which means they don't replicate.
These type of malware programs are used to collect various type of personal information such as list of web sites visited by the user, or applications and operating system installed on the computer. Spyware can also interfere with user control of the computer. This information collected is used to create profile of individuals or groups of people for marketing purposes.
This is another type of malware. It is an advertising program or software package that automatically plays, displays or downloads advertisement to a computer based on the information collected from the user’s browsing habits.
A backdoor is a mechanism that may take the form of an installed program to bypass normal authentication methods to get access to a computer system without being detected. Helpdesk personnel may use this kind of programs to access a user's computer legally with the user's consent to dianose or fix computer issues, but if the program is installed by a malware, then it becomes a backdoor.
Zombies computer are computers that are compromised by the attacker without the user knowledge to do a variety of tasks such as sending email span or sending distributed denial-of-service attacks.
 Root kits
These are special sets of hacker tools designed to gain privileged access control over a computer. They are more dangerous because the change the behavior of the kernel (main part of the Operating System)
Firewalls are not antivirus software, but they protect computers from outsiders limiting or blocking some activities that may result in virus propagation on remote access
 Spam Protection
Spam refers to unwanted/junk email. Spam protection is a feature that blocks spam email by using a set of filters (or rules). The spam email is then sent to a quarentine container outside the inbox or deleted.
 Phishing Protection
Phishing is a method in which the criminal will send an email to the user prenting to be a legimate company. His or her intentions is to get the user's personal and financial information by fooling the user to enter his or her information in a malicious website.
 Parental Control
Parental control is a software that helps parents to limit, monitor or control the use of a computer (time used, applications used, websites visited) by their kids.
 Intrusion prevention
Intruction prevention refers to a software that will provide complete protection against virus, worms and all other type of malware. It also provide firewall protection.
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