How to Deal with Computer VirusesThere are many ways in which a virus can infect your PC. But regardless of weather it is a harmful virus or an annoying "practical joke," it is dangerous to let one loose on your system, and it should be dealt with immediately.
Whether you are connected to the Internet or not, it is safest to have an antivirus program installed on your computer. If you are connected to the Internet, it is basically a must.
Types of Antivirus Programs
There are two types of anti virus programs. Both do more or less the same thing, but use different methods. Both types of programs are constantly on the lookout for viruses on your computer, but they do so in different ways.
The first one keeps a list of known viruses and virus types, called "virus definitions." This list of virus definitions is called a virus library. It constantly looks through your computer, checking to see if anything coming into your computer is a virus. It does so by comparing all things coming in with what it has stored in its "virus library".
Any file, document, or program coming into your computer is inspected and compared to this library to see if it matches any of the "virus definitions." One disadvantage of this system is that if a new virus comes out that is different than the viruses stored in your library, this type of antivirus program will not detect it and will allow it onto your computer.
When using such a program, it is important to have a subscription, and to be connected to the Internet, so that your virus definitions are constantly updated. New viruses come out every day. If you choose such a program, one of the things to check for is how often the virus definitions are updated. This will play an important role in keeping your computer safe.
The second type of anti-virus program is called a HEURISTIC program. "Heuristic" means "learning by discovery or trail and error." It comes from the Greek word "heuriskin," which means "to discover".
In other words, the program is capable of discovering new viruses not already known. It is written in such a way that it is able to learn and discover new viruses, without having to refer to a library. This program will most likely also have a library of virus definitions. But in addition to detecting already known viruses, it is able to detect new viruses, and is therefore a more secure program.
Will My Antivirus Program Drain my Computer of Energy?
One final thing to take into account, when choosing an anti-virus program, is how much computer power your anti-virus program uses. It is all fine to have the biggest antivirus program in the world, but that might not leave much computer power left for you to run your other programs. This is an important factors for you to take into account. Otherwise, you may run into a situation where, instead of viruses slowing your computer down, your antivirus program is slowing your computer down!
Some of the common Antivirus programs are as follows:
Kaspersky AntivirusPanda Software Anti-Virus Products
For reviews of these antivirus programs and my own experience with them, please see the post here:
Reviews of Antivirus Programs