How does An Antivirus Program Work?

Today most of all people whether they use computer or not are familiar with the term ‘antivirus software’. Antivirus software is especially necessary for those who have internet connection in their PC and spend a long time surfing the internet. But how many of them exactly know how does an antivirus software work? Knowing such things will help a person to select the best antivirus program for their PC.

At the beginning when the antivirus was first introduced it used to fight and remove virus threats from computers. But as the hackers have become more complicated and sophisticated, the antiviruses have also become sophisticated to fight against them. The antivirus software today fight against all kinds of malicious attacks and prevent adware, spyware, Trojans and worms from entering into the computer.

Antivirus software acts basically in two ways – scanning files and searching for suspicious behavior which is also known as the Heuristic Approach.

Scanning Files

While scanning files antivirus software employs a database of familiar virus code and applies it to compare the files with the known malicious code. Therefore, it is necessary to keep the database of the antivirus updated so that it can prevent the malicious attacks which are being crafted each and every day.

As soon as a match has been detected between the files and the known virus or Trojan or worms the antivirus will start taking action in three different forms:

Quarantine the file – Your antivirus software prevent virus from infecting by making the malicious files inaccessible to other applications.

Repair the infected files
– The antivirus tries to repair the affected files by eliminating the virus infection.

Remove the file – The antivirus deletes all the infected files and the virus threats with it.  

The scanning process usually starts when you close or open a file or send or receive an email in your PC. Regular scanning is necessary for your computer. You can set up a particular time for scanning so it does not hamper your work. For example, you can fix the time of scanning in the mid-night when you remain asleep and do not work on your computer.
The Heuristic Approach

The method of virus identification is slightly different in the heuristic approach. It keeps track of the type of the programs that are executable on a computer. If any doubtful behavior is identified then a prescheduled range of responses are activated. The response can start from asking the owner of the PC how execute the process of deleting the malicious code automatically.

The heuristic antivirus software protects against latest malware threats that are yet to be identified or registered in the antivirus database. It neutralizes malware before it destroys your completely.

Both these methods are useful. There are a number of malware protection software available in the market which contain both the facilities. Therefore, the users can choose the best among them.

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