- Some miscreants alter and encrypt viruses to avoid being detected by database tools.
- A sandbox is an artificial virtual environment that runs files without having them affect files outside of the sandbox.
- Machine learning and behavioral analysis are the latest set of tools employed by antivirus programs.
As the threat to cybersecurity rises, all the operating systems including Windows, Android, and Mac come with built-in security protections. The question is whether we still need to download antivirus software for our systems, given we already have in-built virus protection in our operating systems?
The answer to that question is a yes. Despite the utmost security check provided by the system, we must invest in competent antivirus software for 100% protection from advanced cyber threats.
There are a lot of fraudulent apps out there that sell fake programs in the name of the antivirus, leaving you and your computer unsafe. Some antivirus software is known to harvest the user’s data itself. Nevertheless, good antivirus software e.g McAfee will protect you and your pc from security threats and will keep your information safe and secure.
While you can certainly avoid catching a virus or being a victim of malware if you browse the internet carefully, antivirus software in place will relieve your mind from being precarious and help you keep your computer safe.
How do antivirus programs work?
An antivirus software employs a variety of methods and features to keep your computer safe from viruses, malware, spyware, and other such cyber attacks. Malware is one of the most annoying and serious forms of online threats as it disguises itself as seemingly inconsequential files such as mp3, program files, and images.
Here are a few ways an antivirus program detects and removes malware:
Malware Database: Built-in virus protectors use this method to classify and remove malware. These databases contain information about a number of known malware so that antivirus programs can identify and get rid of them. Moreover, these databases are frequently updated so that your pc always remains protected from new kinds of threats.
Heuristics: Some miscreants alter and encrypt viruses to avoid being detected by database tools. In that case, an antivirus system employs heuristic-based scanners to make logical assumptions and analyze files to figure out encrypted malware.
Sandboxing: A sandbox is an artificial virtual environment that runs files without having them affect files outside of the sandbox. Any changes that malware aims to make disappear as soon as the sandbox is closed down.
Machine Learning: Machine learning and behavioral analysis are the latest set of tools employed by antivirus programs. These tools are highly advanced and can detect zero-day threats based on threat behavior. However, only a few antivirus programs offer machine learning tools with their subscription.
Extra Antivirus Program Features
Besides keeping the viruses and malware at bay, a good antivirus program also helps you keep your online activity, password, cloud storage, and financial data secure. Keeping your computer safe from viruses and surfing the internet safely are two different things. That is why antivirus programs offer a set of extra tools and features such as :
Firewalls: To keep an eye on network traffic and restrict massive invasive processes from entering the network.
Web Protection: To search and analyze websites and block phishing sites.
Password Manager: To keep one password for all your logins.
VPN: To hide IP addresses for private browsing and downloading.
Parental Control: To keep kids from accessing malicious websites, forums, and blogs.
System Cleanup: To get rid of junk files, bloatware, and other unwanted files.
Encrypted Storage: To keep data secure and safe with military-grade encryption.
Identity Protection: To keep your online identity safe and provide you with real-time notifications in case of any compromises.
Why You Should Invest in a Third-party Antivirus Program?
Granted all the operating systems come with a built-in security feature that protects your device from malware and viruses. Nevertheless, such features are not very inclusive and have major vulnerabilities. An antivirus, system, on the other hand, is designed and developed to keep your device and your personal information safe. It is built to cover every aspect of your PC, allowing you to make the most of your device with antivirus support.
Windows is the most frequently hacked operating system in the world. Although Microsoft has put a lot of effort into the Windows Defender over the years, the program does not get enough updates to keep up with the latest cyber attacks.
Not to mention, it does not use any sort of heuristic or machine learning to detect new viruses. macOS, too, although having made a viable antivirus feature called File Quarantine, lacks resources against zero-day threats. Not too long ago, millions of Mac users were infected with Slayer spyware, which harvested user’s browsing data and placed affiliated products into user’s search suggestions.
Android has the largest database when it comes to mobile operating systems, which makes it a common target for hackers and cybercriminals. While Google Play Protect, the built-in antivirus feature, works well, it fails against ransomware, spyware, or phishing.
Apple’s iOS devices have strict developer protocols around App Store and native sandboxing feature, which makes it almost impossible for a virus to penetrate. Nevertheless, iOS devices are vulnerable to phishing sites as well as malicious WiFi networks.
Regardless of which device you use, there are major risks to surfing the internet without proper protection measures in place. If you are not careful, hackers can take control of your device, your financial data, and your identity. Competent antivirus software in place will not only keep you safe, but it will also make it easier for you to browse the internet in the best way.