Malware, short for malicious software, is software designed to infiltrate a computer without the owner's informed consent. The expression is a general term used by computer professionals to mean a variety of forms of hostile, intrusive, or annoying software or program code. The term "computer virus" is sometimes used as a catch-all phrase to include all types of malware, including true viruses. Having an up-to-date virus database and antivirus program is the most certain way to protect your computer. Antivirus (or anti-virus) software is used to prevent, detect, and remove malware, including computer viruses, worms, and trojan horses. Such programs may also prevent and remove adware, spyware, and other forms of malware. Anti-virus software provides:
Standard Resident Protection
Resident protection (the real-time protection of the operating system), is one of the most important parts of an antivirus program today. File system protection ensures that no virus will be started on the computer. It offers a wide range of settings, such as the possibility to specify that files will be scanned during copying, or that the scanning will include files with given set of extensions only. It can scan inside the following archives: ARJ, ZIP, MAPI (Outlook pst files), DBX (Outlook Express archives), RAR, TAR, GZIP, CAB, ARC, LHA/LHX, and TNEF (winmail.dat).
Spyware is software installed on a computer that is designed to collect information about the computer user, often without their knowledge or consent. This can result in so called identity theft, or theft of valuable information (e.g. bank or credit card details) or proprietary business data. Spyware is often developed by organized crime rings rather than lone individuals and may be installed by a virus.
Rootkits are programs that install on your computer while keeping themselves and their activities hidden to remain invisible to the use. They represent a significant security risk on both home computers and company networks and are notoriously difficult to find and remove. Rootkits themselves are normally installed by a virus or other type of malware infection and it is therefore highly recommended that computer users have up to date antivirus/anti-spyware software installed and running on their computer.
Since an increasing number of viruses (and other malware, such as adware, spyware and dialers) are being distributed via the World Wide Web, the need for an effective countermeasures has also increased. Web monitoring acts as a transparent HTTP proxy and is compatible with all major web browsers, including Microsoft Internet Explorer, FireFox, Mozilla and Opera.
Automatic updates are another need in virus protection. Both the virus database and the program itself can be updated automatically. The updates are incremental, with only new or missing data downloaded: thus reducing the transfer load. The typical size of a virus database update are tens of KB; program updates are typically in the hundreds of KB range.
Two excellent, FREE anti-virus software programs provide real-time protection for your computer with automatic, free updates to detect and remove advanced malware:
AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition
Go To Next Page