What is Antivirus Software?

What is Antivirus Software?

The advancements in technology over the past few decades have been incredible. Not only has technology made our lives easier, but it’s also made our lives much faster and more convenient. From laptops to smartphones and even tablets, it’s hard to find a household that doesn’t have at least one device. 

Technology has become an essential part of our lives and it’s hard to overlook the fact that you need to have a device of some form for everything you do in life. Whether it’s for school, entertainment, or work, these technological devices are vital to our success, and they allow us to unlock more potential than ever before, especially in our professional lives.

As much as technology has made a massively positive impact on the world, it has also brought with it some negative effects. Cybercrime is dangerous, and unfortunately, we’re seeing unprecedented levels of cyber attacks all around the world. It’s more important than ever before to invest in the best antivirus software. But the problem is that the majority of people who have devices either don’t understand how crucial it is to have cybersecurity tools installed on their devices or they simply don’t know where to start. Whichever factor applies to you, keep reading to get the lowdown on cybersecurity and why it’s so vital to your life.

What is Malicious Software?

One of the biggest threats that your device will face is malicious software, which is more commonly known as malware. Malware is extremely dangerous, and millions of internet users have fallen victim to this software in the past. Malware is designed by hackers with malicious intent, so if you find malware on your device, it’s important to deal with it properly.

So, what exactly does “malware” entail? This is a tricky question to answer simply because malware can include a whole host of different types of software. Malware can be any software that has been built by a hacker to steal or damage another device, and in the majority of cases, it’s installed on the victim’s device without their knowledge. Below, you can see some of the most common types of malware that you might come across:

  • Viruses – We’ve all heard of computer viruses before, but when you look at viruses in more detail you’ll notice that there are several different types of viruses. While some viruses can be extremely dangerous, others are simply designed to frustrate the victim. You never know whether a virus is dangerous or not, so it’s always best to get rid of it as soon as possible. Viruses can be designed to complete different tasks from deleting your files to sending pop-up ads to your devices and even destroying your device’s entire operating system.
  • Spyware – Spyware is another dangerous form of malware that you might encounter on your device. Spyware is often used to keep track of your browsing history and internet traffic. The malware can also be used to steal your login credentials and allow hackers to send you targeted phishing scams by keeping track of your interests and hobbies.
  • Ransomware – By far the most dangerous form of malware that can be installed on your device is ransomware. When installed on your device, ransomware will encrypt your important files and accounts. Anything that has been encrypted on your device cannot be accessed, moved, or copied, which means that it becomes useless without the encryption key. The only way to regain access to your files is to pay the expensive ransom fee which will be thousands of dollars.

The Rise in Cybercrime

Now that you know more about the danger that malware poses to your device, it’s important to understand what the chances are of falling victim to one of these devastating cyber attacks. The majority of internet users don’t take the necessary precautions when it comes to their device’s security and privacy — that’s simply because they believe that they won’t fall victim to cybercrime.

Unfortunately, though, the reality is that cybercrime has been on the rise in recent years. There has been a significant year-on-year increase in cyber attacks ever since the dawn of the internet age, but this increase has spiked over the past two years specifically — there are two main reasons for this surge in successful cyber attacks.

The first reason is that more and more people are buying devices. With many people being first-time owners or owners who are unaware of the importance of cybersecurity, there are far more potentially easy targets for hackers to target. There are billions of devices in use around the world, and there are millions of devices sold daily. The more devices there are in use, the more victims there are to target.

The second reason for the rise in cybercrime is because of the Covid-19 pandemic and the global lockdown employed as a result of it. With the world’s population locked inside their homes, people had to use their devices to study, stay entertained, keep in touch with friends and family, and even work remotely. Even after the lockdown was lifted, remote working has continued to be a popular business model all around the world.

The one element that connects these two factors is an increase in screen time. With more people spending time on their devices, there is a much higher chance of a cyber attack being successful — especially considering that many people don’t have cybersecurity measures installed on their devices.

What is Antivirus Software?

The main cybersecurity measure you need in place to fight against malware is premium antivirus software. Antivirus software will constantly scan your devices for any viruses and other forms of malware. If anything malicious has been detected on your device, the software can take action to remove it from your device before it causes even further damage.

You should always keep an eye out for premium antivirus software that offers additional security features. The best feature to look out for is phishing detection. Some antivirus software has a library of known phishing links and websites, which will give you an early warning sign that you might be placing your device at risk when you open an illegitimate email or website.

About author

Carl Herman is an editor at DataFileHost enjoys writing about the latest Tech trends around the globe.