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How Does Antivirus Software Work


With an increase in the rate of technological devices, the number of people looking to take advantage of other users on the Internet has also increased.

By operating using numerous malicious programs and applications, these offenders track the data and information of users to profit with them.

According to a survey conducted in 2015 by GData – a digital security solutions company – a new type of virus is created every 5 seconds.

How Does Antivirus Software Work

Antivirus is a program (software) that identifies malware – popularly known as a virus, then deletes it from your computer.

Antivirus can be used on computers, cell phones, and tablets. Also, they can monitor the behavior of installed applications.

When any of these applications present any suspicious action, the Antivirus will block its activities or are move it to quarantine.

While the application is in quarantine state, its performance is monitored in order to diagnose the possible causes of the problem.

According to Mandiant Consulting, a consultancy specializing in worldwide cyber-attacks, email is the most common channel the bad guys use to gain access to your device.

In practice, as soon as Antivirus is installed, it will scan all files on the computer while it creates a “digital signature” for each one.

The Antivirus will perform periodic updates to check that there have been no changes to the files.

If something strange is detected, the user will get a notice automatically in order to proceed with the appropriate actions.

In addition, protection programs like Antivirus can be specific to a particular type of virus.

For example, Antispyware, which are focused on fighting Spywares and Adware.

These two types of viruses often infect browsers to steal bank details and display advertising banners with unwanted offers to buy things.

It is important to note that before installing the Antivirus on a computer, it is necessary to observe its specifications and evaluate the best option for such a computer.

For example, an antivirus made for Windows is unlikely to be active on a computer with OS X, as each operating system has its particularities.

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Likewise, a version for personal computers will not work on an enterprise server.

In that case, you will need to purchase a corporate version of the Antivirus you choose.

Is Free Antivirus a Good Option?

There are excellent antivirus options for personal computers on the web. Microsoft itself offers a program called Microsoft Security Essentials, which is currently one of the most used worldwide.

But we recommend that the best option for companies is to purchase a paid alternative.

Paid antiviruses, in addition to protecting your computer more efficiently, paid versions have added features to help minimize the risk of virus infestation.

Scanning emails is an example of these additions, and it is beneficial for companies.

Three companies offering free versions for personal computers:

AVG – Founded in 1991, since 2001 it has made its free version available;

Panda – Available in more than 23 languages, it has millions of users spread over 195 countries;

Avira – Of German origin, it was developed in 1988 and has more than 100 million users.

Some signs that may indicate the presence of malicious programs are:

  • Device slowing down;
  • Programs usually crash;
  • The operating system that is no longer responding as usual;
  • Slow Internet.

If any of the applications on the computer used are infected with a virus, the most appropriate action is to uninstall and reinstall the application since it is impossible for the Antivirus to remove only the part of the application that has been infected.

Tips to prevent your computer from being vulnerable to malware:

Keep your Antivirus always up to date;

Avoid downloading unnecessary and dubious programs. Have you never heard of the application? Please do not install it!

Do not access links from emails that are not in your list of trusted addresses. Emails are still the most prominent route to infection today;

Watch out for Facebook! The social network is a vast source of viruses. Unknown test, quiz and website links can be a trap;

Be wary of conflicting offers. Avoid clicking on banners that are not credible and offer absurdly low prices;

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Also, try to keep a backup of your main files or keep them stored in the cloud. In this way, you avoid losing valuable information if you need to format your computer of a storage device.

Antivirus is focused on the software aspect of your computer. Get the best out of the computer by doing some hardware preventive maintenance too. 

Preventive Maintenance For Your Devices

Preventive maintenance is the best way to keep your devices running smoothly and also extend the lifespan of each.

In addition to taking care of computers at work, it is very important to maintain good habits with the devices we have at home too.

With the advent of smartphones, tablets, and smart TVs, these other devices often end up being placed in the corner of the house.

You will understand how it is possible to keep all these devices from being a burden.

Best Practices for Your Computer

To begin with, pay close attention to where you leave your computer.

Desktops should never be placed directly on the floor. Ideally, they should be at least 20cm high, so that they do not accumulate dust, which can damage the machine severely.

In the case of notebooks and laptops, you should avoid placing them on soft surfaces (such as blankets, for example).

Putting them on fabrics prevents ventilation, which usually starts with a suction grid at the bottom of the equipment.

Therefore, using the notebook or laptop directly in bed, without specific support, is a habit that should not be cultivated.

Cleanliness is another essential factor.

When you’re out of time, eating at the computer may seem like the only alternative.

However, avoid this as much as possible: food scraps and crumbs can damage your machine, in addition to attracting ants, which in some cases are killed by the device’s heat or electric field.


The ventilation of computers (portable or desktop) is another point often overlooked by users.

A computer that overheats will have a shorter life span, as it contains delicate components that are very sensitive to high temperatures.

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Try to buy a CPU with a well-ventilated case, and keep it away from closed cabinets.

The installation must be done in an environment with good air circulation.

As for notebooks, a recurring error on the part of users is to keep it in their lap for long periods, obstructing the air passage and overheating the equipment, which, in some cases, can cause serious burns.

Most Recurring Problems

Incredibly, the most common problem with computers is still a virus, which is most often received via email.

Viruses are sent with the many different intentions: to delete your files, track your passwords and bank details.

A not very common type, but very dangerous, are the ramsonwares, which block access to your files in exchange for a sum of money.

As for the components, the computer’s HD (Hard-Disk) and the fan (for both CPU and Notebook) are the ones that work the most with mechanical wear, so they are the most susceptible to problems.

The fan, in particular, because it captures a lot of dust, can have its performance compromised by not being able to rotate and move the mass of sufficient air.

The consequence is damage to the CPU, which can even be burned by overheating.

The lifetime of a computer

Component manufacturers currently work with an indicator called MTBF – Mean Time Between Failure – in free translation, How Many Hours for a Failure.

This indicator has varied between 40,000 and 100,000 hours of use, depending on the manufacturer and the origin of its parts.

According to the Electrical Engineer, Eric Lieb: “Used properly, a computer can present hardware problems (physical problems) from five years onwards”.

Other problems may arise much earlier, usually related to the software (programs and applications) installed, which impact the performance and reliability of the equipment in the same way.

Tips For A Problem-Free Computer

Keep your Operating System always up to date;

Use a reliable antivirus and keep it up to date;

Do not allow your device to be severely impacted, especially while it is on;

Protect it from extreme temperatures. If you notice that its temperature is outside the range recommended by the manufacturer (usually between 10 and 30 degrees), seek technical help;

Dust, temperature, humidity, and vibration are the most harmful variables for your computer. Never leave it under these conditions;

Perform annual preventive maintenance with a trusted technician if you wish.

How Does Antivirus Software Work

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