CYBER BLOG: Antivirus Software

CYBER BLOG: Antivirus Software

Antivirus software is an important tool to help prevent attacks from mischievous individuals looking to break into a computer or from a cybercriminal looking to exploit businesses or commit fraud. Not every cyberattack can be prevented by antivirus software, but they will help to detour cybercriminals form attacking your systems or networks.

Why do I need Antivirus software?

The goal of a cybercriminal is to exploit a vulnerability found in the computer’s operating system or the software it uses. The attacker might want to steal valuable information, download a virus onto the device or even use your computer as part of a botnet, for example, for Bitcoin mining. Antivirus software can help to protect against these threats.

Good antivirus software should provide:

  • Protection against computer viruses or attacks that mean to damage your computer.
  • Rootkit protection to prevent malware form establishing in a computer.
  • Bot protection to prevent hackers from remotely taking control of your computer for spamming and other crimes.
  • Worm protection to stop attacks against the network or malware payloads.
  • Protection against Trojan horse attacks that trick you into thinking you have downloaded a legitimate piece of software or legitimate files.
  • Protection against spyware that is designed to steal personal information.
  • Messaging protection (instant messages or emails), looking for dangerous attachments of fraudulent links.
  • Recovery tools or systems in place that will eliminate any threats found.

What else could you do to keep your computer safe?

The following techniques will also help prevent your systems form being breached:

  • Keep computer software updated as cybercriminals will target machines that have not had the known vulnerabilities patched (fixed). Updates are free and should be done when advised. This included all computer software as well.
  • Ensure no unknown removable devices are ever plugged into your computer, as you do not know if the devices already have preinstalled malware on them.
  • Practice safe internet habits –
    • Stay vigilant, if it sounds too good to be true it probably is.
    • Always verify the information, don’t just open an unknown web address or download unknown attachments.
    • Never give out personal or confidential information, such as passwords.
    • Ensure all passwords are ‘strong’ and not repeated.

Which antivirus software should I choose?

There is a number of different antivirus software available, for example, Norton, Kaspersky, AVG, ZoneAlarm, Avast, McAfee, BullGuard, Bitdefender and many, many more. Before choosing make sure to research what each antivirus package includes and what would provide the best safety for your personal or business use.

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