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What is antivirus software and how does it protect my computer?

August 29th, 2022 | 3 min. read

By Jordan Pioth

Cyber attack warning on ipad

You have probably heard of antivirus software but do you know what it is or how it works? If you don’t know what antivirus software is or how it works, your computer could be at risk of a virus or have a virus without your knowledge.

Antivirus protection software is one of the most well-known security options for combating malware and computer viruses. You might even have some kind of antivirus protection software downloaded onto your computer right now.

Coeo prides itself on being fully transparent with its customers on all things telecommunications related.

While Coeo does not offer its own antivirus software version, we provide security in other ways through managed firewalls. We know just how important it is to keep not only your network secure but your devices as well.

By the end of this article, you will know what antivirus protection software is, how it works, as well as the different types of antivirus software so you know how to better secure your computer and other devices.

What is antivirus protection software?

In today’s world, hackers and malicious sources are more prevalent than ever. So securing your network has to be a main priority. Antivirus protection software can help prevent you from becoming a victim of a cyber attack.

Antivirus protection software prevents, detects, and helps remove threats such as software viruses and malware from your computer systems. These threats can be devastating to your devices and your network.

Once threats like viruses enter your network, they can easily spread. If one device is infected with a software virus, it is important to get rid of it as soon as possible before it spreads to other devices costing you thousands of dollars.

Antivirus protection software can be purchased and downloaded onto your devices.

The software is designed as a proactive approach to malicious sources and is used to remove malicious software from your device when they are detected on your computer.

The software is designed to run in the background of your device to scan your device. Since it runs in the background, you can accomplish your day-to-day activities without the software getting in the way.

How antivirus protection software works

Typically, antivirus protection software works by comparing applications and files on your computer to known kinds of malware and viruses stored in a database.

By checking through each application and file on your computer, it compares the characteristics of the files and applications on your computer, to the characteristics of known viruses and malware.

The antivirus software, checks your files, programs, and applications to find matches to the known malware and virus software.

When the antivirus software finds a match to a virus or malware, it segregates, scans, and eliminates the malicious software before it can do any further damage to your device.

The main downside to relying on antivirus protection software is that it does not prevent viruses and malware from entering your computer instead, it only scans and eliminates the malicious software once it is already discovered.

The antivirus software scans and looks for malware and eliminates it as soon as possible.

Depending on when the antivirus protection software is able to scan and eliminate any malware or viruses, some damage can already be done to the device.  

Different types of antivirus protection software

There are a couple of different types of antivirus protection software. There is traditional antivirus protection and next-gen antivirus protection.

Both types have the same idea in mind, and that's to scan and eliminate any threats to your computer but they have different features and different ways of performing those tasks.

●      Traditional antivirus protection software

Traditional antivirus protection software relies heavily on the signature or characteristics of the software to identify viruses and malware.

Traditional antivirus security analyzes files suspected of containing malware and adds them to a database. Once it is in the database, the antivirus protection software can test other software for the characteristics of malware.

One downside to traditional antivirus protection software is that it only is able to detect more traditional viruses and malware. This makes it easier for more modern-day viruses to slip by undetected.

●      Next-gen antivirus protection software

This kind of antivirus software is of course a newer, more sophisticated software created around 2013. Next-gen protection software has shifted to signature-less approaches as a way to detect viruses and malware.

This means that instead of testing software for virus and malware characteristics, it performs one of two tasks;

  • Behavior-based malware detection

This method employs active malware analysis to detect malware and virus software based on behavior instead of characteristics. It is often powered by machine learning algorithms.

  • Machine learning models

Machine learning models identify patterns that match known malware and other forms of artificial intelligence.

Next steps to keeping your network secure

Now that you have learned about antivirus software, how it works, and the different types of software, you can start to implement a form of antivirus software to secure your network and avoid software viruses and malware.

If you already have antivirus protection software, you can have a better idea of how it works. You can also figure out what kind of software you have and determine if it is the right software for you.

Nobody wants to be a victim of a virus or malware attack. Antivirus protection software can stop you from being that victim.

Coeo takes pride in educating you about the dangers of cyber-attacks, malware, and viruses and telling you the importance of network security.

We have helped many customers with their network security throughout the years and know the concern for a secure network.

If you would like to speak with our team to learn more about antivirus software or ask any questions you may have you can schedule an appointment. TALK TO AN EXPERT

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Jordan Pioth

When he's not creating content for Coeo, Jordan loves to watch sports, hang out with friends and family, and anything sneaker-related.