We all know that in order to protect our system from the cyber threats we need to install antivirus software. Some of us go for free versions of these software while others prefer the paid ones. But, what exactly does the antivirus software do to protect the system against malware, spyware and cyber insecurities? Let us find it out:
• Background Scanning:- This involves the scanning of the files at the back end. It is done with the aim of protecting the computer from malicious attacks and malware.
• Full Systems Scans:- These are done mainly after installing the software in the system or after updating it to check whether there are any pre-existing threats in the system. It can also be performed for repairing an infected system.
• Boot Time Scans:- This type of scan helps in detecting virus threats in the hard disks, system drives and auto stat programs. It occurs before windows are loaded. If no virus threats are detected, the system will boot. Otherwise, there will be options for fixing.
• Memory Scans:- This type of scan helps in scanning the memory of your system and detect the presence of any virus in the same.
• Custom Scans:- There are provisions for customizing the type of scan you would like to perform in the computer. You can choose and select the particular files and folders that you feel like scanning.
An antivirus software has a virus database using which it can keep a track of the common viruses found in a personal computer and can perform the above mentioned scans to detect the presence of these viruses. It will also help you protect yourself from online identity theft credit card data breach and hacking.
Following are the ways in which an antivirus software can actually detect the presence of virus in the system:
• Signature Based Detection: In this method the software checks the .EXE files and matches them with the virus and malware list to understand whether these files are corrupted.
• Heuristic Based Detection: This method is generally combined with the signature based detection method in a computer. It helps in detecting the presence of new or altered viruses or variants of the old existing viruses. It prevents the vulnerable code from affecting the real time environment.
• Behavioral Detection: It detects the malware features during execution. It is incapable of detecting the presence of malware in the static condition. It can only work while the malware is busy performing its actions.
• Sandbox Detection:- It is somewhat similar to the Behavioral Detection method. Here the software is capable of identifying whether a program is malicious only when the program is running.
• Data Mining Techniques:- It uses a series of program features to judge whether a program is malicious.
With the help of these mechanisms, the antivirus software detects the presence of virus and malwares in the system and warns the user against the presence of these. In some cases the user does not have to interfere since the software automatically fixes the issue by itself.