What is a computer antivirus?
Computer antivirus are pieces of application software whose objective is to detect and eliminate computer viruses from a computerized system . That is, it is a program that seeks to remedy the damage caused by these invasive forms of software, whose presence in the system is usually not detectable until their symptoms are evident, just like biological viruses .
During the 80s, with the advent of technologies exchange of digital information such as floppy disks and, later, the Internet , it became possible to put in successive contact to numerous computers. This brought about the appearance of computer viruses, and then, spyware , malwareand other forms of harmful software that enter without the user’s consent to the machine and cause various types of damage: deconfigure key sequences, delete personal files, hijack private information , etc.
The remedy, then, was to acquire a computer antivirus, offered by various commercial programming companies to guarantee the monitoring, cleaning and protection of computers . In case of lack of them, the user was at risk of damage to the system and also spreading the virus each time he copied a diskette or sent an email.
Currently there is a massive offer of antivirus services, which are essential given that we spend more and more time connected to the Internet , receiving and sending information from already unknown computers.
See also: WWW .
What are computer antivirus programs for?
Nowadays, antivirus programs serve more than simply scanning and disinfecting a machine that has contracted a computer virus . They usually offer active monitoring services, to prevent the total access of an infected document to the system, block unsafe web pages and eliminate risky files as soon as they enter the computer . This is usually called active protection.
On the other hand, computer viruses also deal with other pieces of unwanted software, such as spyware , malware or rootkits , and even hacking attempts. For this it has a firewall (remote connection blocking software) and a database of virus definitions, which is a kind of encyclopedia of the already known viruses.
It was never said who programmed the computer viruses, although many theories accuse the antivirus companies themselves of creating the problem and then selling the solution. The truth is that these viruses acted as a terrorist attack : anonymously and from a logic of their own.
The magnitude of its damage to the system or of the annoyance caused to the user are variable, from the elimination of personal files to the sabotage of the indispensable processes of the system. Currently, due to the rise of Internet services, viruses often pursue the seizure of useful life information, such as credit card numbers or private photographs, when not administrative permits to operate the computer remotely.
Types of computer antivirus
Several types of computer antivirus can be identified, according to their operation:
- Antivirus identification . Those that track active sequences associated with certain viruses, but are not very effective when dealing with unwanted software. They have the virtue of being very light, some are executed from the network .
- Antivirus de contaminators . Usually installed in the system like any other application software , these programs can be activated at will to check the entire contents of the computer for viruses. If there are, then, disinfection is carried out and, if this is not possible, quarantine or erasure.
- Real-time protection antivirus . Those that provide constant protection to the system, without the need to carry out an exhaustive review, but reviewing all incoming and outgoing files and connections. These antivirus are usually combined with decontaminating functions.