How to use Antivirus software for improved data security
Data security prevents data loss; however, with antivirus, you can protect your computer systems and prevent malware and spyware intrusion. Here are steps to prevent virus attacks and sources of virus programs.
Data security is a set of protocols and actions implemented to secure and prevent data loss within the information technology ecosystem (IT). These data include files, databases, accounts, and networks; thus, securing data is critical in every sector or ecosystem.
While the world of the internet came with limitless possibilities and proffering solutions to numerous problems, there are demerits associated with this sector, such as fraud, credit card theft, loss of clients' data or files, erasure of personal files by malware, invasion of privacy by spyware, etc. Now, to cap it all, People's everyday life comes with the following:
- Use of credit cards to make payments online
- Uploading personal files and photos online
- Using the same password to access several accounts online
All the lifestyles above are prone to a data breach which internet users can prevent through steps offered by data security.
Symantec reported in 2019, the rate of attacks using destructive malware increased by 25%. They also found out that data breaches, as well as internet theft, are on the rise.
In a bid to secure data and prevent data breaches, the field of data security has created a full economic advantage in the world. Today, companies and individuals spend millions of dollars in a bid to safeguard data and prevent unwarranted access.
What is a computer Virus?
A computer virus is a type of software program that replicates itself after execution; it works by making changes to other computer programs and inserting its code. Computer viruses like trojan horses have been known sources of data breaches.
One of the foremost access to data security by firms and especially individuals is Antivirus software; luckily, there are many top antivirus software out there today. The known steps of data security are:
- Double authentication,
- Careful surfing of websites, and
- The use of a secure Virtual private network (VPN).
Antivirus software is a program initially used for detecting and removing viruses on computer programs. Still, recent Antivirus software has been developed to now perform complex actions to combat the complexities of contemporary cybercrime.
The new antivirus software now offers users the following:
- Secure connection to the internet using VPNs
- Protection of passwords
- Prevention of file corruption
- Storage of data on the cloud etc.
Quality antivirus software should be able to prevent data theft. It should also block spurious actions of different malware, spyware and other threats posed by computer viruses.
This article will highlight how antivirus software works and how it can secure files and data.
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Antivirus software and how it works
Antivirus software is a powerful computer program created for detecting malware, spyware and other malicious contents in the computer system. Antivirus software is crucial for constant protection during web browsing etc. The program can scan, delete and hibernate computer viruses.
The good thing is most antivirus software runs automatically in the background, so you may end up not knowing when these actions are taking place.
To understand the basic principle of how antivirus works, you must know that there is a database of known types of malware and trojan horse. Virus software works by scanning computer files against the known database of malware and viruses. Though hackers and cybercriminals develop new types of malware daily, antivirus software also scans for new forms of malware.
The journey gets tricky when antivirus software tries to detect and delete computer viruses from the computer systems. There are 3 detection models used by antivirus software to fish out computer viruses, they are:
- Specific detection: This identifies already known computer viruses, warms etc.
- Generic detection: This method scans the patterns of malware seen and compares them against a general codebase of malware.
- Heuristic detection: Identifies spurious file structures by scanning unknown malware.
Antivirus software works with the above models by identifying a corrupt file and then deleting or preventing access. This action will reduce the risk of malware on computer programs and files. Whenever a computer user double clicks a file or a program, it does not launch immediately; rather, the antivirus software will scan the file and occlude any virus before launching. This is known as On-access scanning or real-time protection.
Sometimes hackers use stealth methods to introduce virus software into users' computer systems. Hackers could hide this virus software within a downloadable file, compressed files (like zip files) or even a word document. Antivirus software will automatically detect a virus on a downloaded file even before the user opens it. It could also access compressed files to scan for viruses.
Antivirus software companies remain relevant by updating their virus databases to detect new malware deployed by cybercriminals easily.
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Security, privacy and data protection
Antivirus software's major essence is to prevent data loss or unwarranted access to data. Some major virus attack sources are malicious internet content, authentication attacks, etc.
While the use of antivirus can help mitigate the risks of malware attacks, there are still other methods that computer users can use to safeguard data and privacy and ensure a secure network connection when surfing the web.
You should be aware that Malicious intrusion occurs through:
- Downloading programs,
- Pirated software,
- Unpatched software,
- Unknown CDs,
- Email attachments
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1.Avoid unknown software
Notwithstanding the risks mentioned earlier, methods within your power can still help you secure your data. For instance, downloading software programs from unknown sources increases the risk of virus intrusion into the computer system. It is always advised that users avoid downloading computer software from unknown and unverified sources to avoid computer viruses, spyware, or malware.
2.Do not use pirated software
Second, the high cost of some computer software (like high-definition games) has led many to install cracked or pirated software. In hindsight, this pirated software might have been integrated with a malicious script to steal or corrupt your files, and that is why you must avoid such software at all costs and use antivirus software to help you detect them.
3.Always update your applications
Constant update of your computer programs is crucial in data security. When software programs are left unpatched, attackers may use a security bug that has not been updated to introduce malicious scripts into computer systems.
4.Scammers also use Bluetooth
Users could also receive malicious content through unknown Bluetooth devices; thus, it is always better to accept connections from only trusted devices.
5.The internet is not all rosy
Surfing the web through the internet is one of the easiest sources of viruses and malicious content. People are advised to be careful when surfing the web. Some websites require users to download a particular plugin or software before accessing a video or online materials; sometimes, these contents turn out to be spyware scripts that hackers created to steal personal and financial data, so be careful out there.
Other websites also try to introduce viruses into the computer system by offering free tools and overly expensive software (as free). Beware of such sites.
6.Email phishing is real
Email attachment is another source of viruses. Hackers also spread malware through Phishing. Phishing is a method whereby victims receive emails with malware-infected links. The victims are always prompted or tricked into clicking the malicious-infected links. These links most often look genuine. For instance, a hacker who wishes to access a company's HR portal might send an email posing as Microsoft.
Such emails will always ask the victim to verify their account. Users can avoid this malicious intrusion by researching the link sent without actually taking the bait.
7.Use an antivirus software
From the above, it is obvious that the primary source of Viruses is the internet, which is why using a secured internet connection (not public WiFi) is important. The use of antivirus software can act as a deterrent against malicious content and also offer you a secure internet connection.
You can protect your internet with a VPN connection.
Apart from losing millions of data through viruses and malware, companies and individuals can also lose billions of dollars due to network downtime caused by ransomware.
The simple methods or steps users can take to ensure data security have been enumerated above. Though the methods are not tech-savvy, they could be inundating to some individuals and small companies.
Clacified advises that companies and individuals who lack in-depth knowledge of data security and antivirus protection should consider using managed IT services to implement the needed data security measures and avoid data loss.
Managed IT services can help companies or individuals with installing firewalls and antivirus. They can implement a comprehensive security check and update across an entire network. Managed IT services can also implement phishing tests and educate employees on how to avoid phishing traps. Even when data is lost, there could be fast recovery due to frequent installations carried out by some managed IT firms.
So please take all the necessary steps to secure your network and files and avoid data loss.