Technology has moved forward dramatically in a few short years, and more people than ever are connected to the Internet, many of whom have never even asked themselves the question “How effective are antivirus programs?“
The Connected World Is A Criminal’s Paradise
The Internet is certainly not entirely safe, and there are plenty of cyber criminals ready to take advantage of the web surfers who are unprotected or unaware of the risk they pose. Some viruses are simply a nuisance, written by some devious programmer to prove to themselves they can do it. Other malware is more sophisticated and can be designed to ultimately steal money or even the identity of an unsuspecting victim.
The Landscape Is Changing
The problem with answering our question “How Effective Are Antivirus Programs” is that the threat is ever changing. More threats to our computer security appear every day and firms developing the software to guard against them are constantly reacting to new variants appearing. Anyone with antivirus software will know how often it needs to download files to update itself.
The Future Of Virus Scanning
Companies developing antivirus software are continually looking to become more proactive rather than reactive with the protection offered by their scanners. The techniques they use look for patterns of behavior of programs trying to install themselves on your computer, as well as detecting known characteristics of viruses. Whilst the technology already in use is very sophisticated, each advancement in antivirus software triggers a new advancement in viruses themselves to evade detection. By understanding more about the techniques the virus programmers use, the antivirus vendors can pre-empt the success of their rivals, and thwart their attempts either before, or soon after the malware is released.
[Read also: How to Scan Your Computer Without an Antivirus]
So, How Effective Are Antivirus Programs?
In general, antivirus software is very effective, but it does rely on being up to date. Always prioritize updates of your antivirus protection ahead of any other activity, especially when connected to the internet. Cancelling an update to access your email a little faster is foolhardy, as you may well have the latest incarnation of a virus waiting to appear in your inbox.