What Is Antivirus?

Security Resources > How to Choose the Best Antivirus

We can all agree that computers and the internet allow us to accomplish so many great things. We are able to do a search on anything in seconds. We can bank online and browse our favorite stores within minutes. Or we can find out how to blend the best fruit smoothie on YouTube. But as with all good things, the benefits of computers come with risks as well. Computer viruses can slow down your computer and steal your private information. Antivirus software allows you to prevent malicious attacks by building up your internet security.

Prevent Attacks Through Internet Security

For most users, internet security becomes one of the most important aspects of owning a computer. Computer users know the feeling of realizing that their computer has become infected. Some of the frustrating symptoms are:

  • The computer response seems to slow down and occasionally hang up.
  • Popups start to dominate the screen, some with inappropriate content.
  • The computer activity light is flashing, even when no one is using the computer.

For some, the most frustrating part of a cyber-attack is realizing that someone has invaded the domain of their personal computer. Even more frightening is the idea that personal information may be vulnerable. Fortunately, computer owners have an advocate in the war against malicious software. Security companies provide sophisticated software that protects against these types of computer invasions.

Types of Software Security Breaches

Malware comprises a range of software designed to do damage to legitimate computer users. This software falls into a set of categories depending on the intent of attacking software, including:


– a virus is a bit of malicious code that comes as part of an application. When a computer user finds a program they like on the Internet – perhaps something to organize photos, do genealogy, or most commonly, offer a new game – an attached virus may execute as soon as the application is run. Like a biological virus, the malicious software replicates itself in order to infect other computers. At some point, the virus activates and delivers its payload. This can come in the form of deleting important system files, corrupting information on storage devices, or making the computer reboot randomly. Emails are especially susceptible to spreading viruses.


– spyware is malicious software installed without a user’s consent or knowledge. This is often the most damaging form of attack as it is designed to gather sensitive information from the computer and send it to an illegitimate source. Some symptoms of spyware are a sudden change of home page, a browser redirecting web searchers, or an increase in the number of installed programs.


– adware is a special form of software written to automatically generate popup advertisements. These popups can start when the user runs a certain application, when he or she visits a site on the browser, or when the computer first starts up. One of the most insidious and ironic forms of adware displays a popup that informs the user that their computer has been infected and that they must sign up for protection software.

Other types of illegitimate software include Trojan horses, worms, logic bombs, and rootkits.

Secure Your System

The first thing computer users need for their personal computers is an effective set of tools to combat malicious software. By choosing the best protection programs, users can rest easy knowing they will get the most effective internet security and protection for the performance of their personal computers.