We know that installing anti-viruses is to protect our personal computers as well as ourselves. An anti-virus monitors threats and clean infected files.
In connection, there are many ways on how a computer can be infected by a virus. Via surfing unsecured websites, infected external disks and malicious links, installers and downloads.
How one can be infected by Viruses, Malwares or Adwares
- Malicious Links, Scripts, Installers and Downloads
Malicious links and downloads are common in spam emails. Do not or never click links that you think are not safe. Be cautious and careful. And if you think the link is trusted, it is safer to type the URL on a new browser tab.
Spammers and scammers are also creative. They can create a corporate looking e-newsletter. So before clicking whatever links, images or buttons in what looks like a legitimate newsletter, check first if the email is indeed for you or remember if you subscribed from them. Look at the “from” header of your received email and check if the sender is just guessing emails or if the message is from a robot. If the email is just from a malware or spammers, either the “from” header is empty or it contains similar emails like email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org and so on.
There are also fake websites that are not legitimate yet seems to be legitimate. Check if the website is using secured pages for downloads installers and forms that require personal information.
Also, after downloading whether the file came from an email or a website, make sure that you scan the file before opening and using it. There are so many geniuses in the web that can create brilliant softwares yet are carrying malwares, viruses and the like.
Malicious scripts can be found on so many websites especially those social media or blogging websites that are displaying online advertisements. It does not mean that all online ads are malicious but some ads are carrying cookies that can harm your computer or stole your personal information.
- Infected External Disks
Another way to be infected by viruses, malwares or adwares is via external disks like floppy disks, CDs or USB. Make sure that you scan first before exploring or installing these external disks.
How an Anti-virus Programs Work
Anti virus programs have a list of viruses. It accesses its database everytime you open your computer, a file or even a browser. Monitor, check threats and clean if infected files were found. It depends on the feature and capacity of the anti-virus. It is not 100% that an anti-virus can clean all kinds of viruses or malwares. Some anti-virus can clean a certain malwares, some can clean others. Hence, it is not advisable that you install several anti-viruses. Just enable the auto-updates so that your anti-virus will be able to add new developed anti-viruses on their lists and clean your files infected by new viruses.
Some anti-viruses have a heuristic feature. This allows the anti-virus to detect malicious activities even without infected files yet.
Anti-virus is among those vital softwares that you must install. Others, especially those who do not have budget for the license just ignore the risks of the viruses, malwares or adwares. If you cannot afford the anti-virus license, there are so many free trial anti-viruses on the internet. Google pack also recently adds new computer protection softwares like Immunet, Avast Anti-Virus and PC Tools Security. So before it is too late, try to invest time to protect your computer and yourself.