Viruses attack computers in different ways. There are signs your computer is infected, which, if spotted quickly, can stop the proliferation of the virus. Stay safe by being wary of certain websites, and bolster your system with antivirus software. For email-based threats, mail.com provides built-in tools that protect your computer.
- 1. Antivirus software explained
- 2. What is a virus scan
- 3. How to identify a virus
- 4. Common symptoms of a virus
- 5. What is spyware?
- 6. What is a trojan - Trojans explained
- 7. Safety starts with your operating system
- 8. How to stay safe online
- 9. The virus removal economy
- 10. Powerful antivirus software from mail.com
Antivirus software explained
Antivirus software is your first line of defense against the numerous external threats associated with online activity. Used to prevent, detect, and remove malicious software that may affect both the operation of your computer and put your data at risk from unsolicited access, antivirus programs are important utilities for anyone who uses the Internet. Crucially, antivirus software acts as a type of check-point for any information that comes in or out of your computer, constantly scanning files and programs for potential risk. Free virus protection is provided to mail.com users as standard – so you can minimize online dangers.
In order to keep up with the many varied and constantly evolving threats, antivirus software must be continually developed. This means that the best antivirus programs can identify and then neutralize the latest viruses and malware. These include Trojans, browser hijackers, rootkits, ransomware, BHOs (Browser Helper Objects), worms, adware, fraud tools and spyware amongst many others. Additionally, some antivirus software will also protect the user from spam, phishing, and botnet DDoS attacks.
What is a virus scan
A virus scan is a process performed by your antivirus software in order to identify and subsequently eradicate viruses and other malicious software from your computer or device.
- When implemented on a regular basis, a virus scan helps to keep your machine free of the potentially destructive elements your computer may be exposed to during its usage.
- In fact, any machine connected to the Internet should factor-in routine virus scans in order to ensure the continued security of your data.
- Virus scanning is particularly important when it comes to email, since it is very susceptible to external threats.
How to identify a virus
Virus and malware identification falls into five main categories, all of which have become more sophisticated as both the hardware and software used has evolved. Unfortunately, there is no single algorithm or software application that can perfectly detect all possible threats. However, a combination of these methods can achieve a good detection rate.
- Signature Based Detection – a method that compares files using a database of known threats. This is the most common approach currently used.
- Heuristic Based Detection – generally combined with signature based detection, this method identifies common characteristics within malware code.
- Behavioral Based Detection – similar to heuristic based detection, this technique identifies a behavioral fingerprint as the threat begins its malicious action.
- Sandbox Detection – an approach that executes malware programs in a virtual environment to determine whether the code is malicious.
- Data Mining Techniques – among the latest methods, this kind of detection uses machine learning algorithms to classify the behavior of a threat.
Antivirus software helps to keep you safe even when malware is the last thing on your mind – working continuously to maintain the highest levels of online security. Assuming everything is working as it should, then you will barely notice your antivirus software is operational. However, as soon as a potential issue is flagged, then a good antivirus program will notify you immediately and direct you to the correct course of action in order to keep your computer safe.
Common symptoms of a virus
Viruses manifest themselves as a range of issues within your computer and device. In fact, strange behavior exhibited by your machines is most often attributed to some kind of malware. Things to look out for include:
- Slow system or machine crashes
- Slow internet connection or unable to connect
- Programs or applications are missing or self-starting
- Peripheral hardware not working or self-starting
- Being locked out of your machine
- Pop-up adds or other intrusive advertisements
What is spyware?
Spyware is a generic name and can be divided into four categories: system monitors, Trojans, adware and tracking cookies.
The main purpose of spyware is to monitor Internet users’ activity and relay this information. It can also be used to change the browser configurations and deliver unsolicited advertisements. In a fifth category, keyloggers record each key pressed on the keyboard. This is often deliberately installed by the administrator of a shared or public computer to monitor the users of a single system.
What is a trojan - Trojans explained
A Trojan is a type of malware or virus that masquerades as a useful, interesting, or routine program in order to encourage the user to download or install it.
Also known as a Trojan horse—from the mythological wooden horse synonymous with Greek subterfuge—this type of malware has been around since the early 1980s, becoming increasingly prevalent as the opportunities for downloading software online have grown. In fact, Trojans are now among the most common and dangerous types of malware currently in existence, posing a threat to both computers and mobile devices.
There are many different types of Trojan and each effects varying types of threat or payload.
- Most commonly they are spread by users unwittingly, appearing in the form of an email attachment or as drive-by-downloads that prey on the user’s ignorance of the respective payload.
- Unlike standard computer viruses and worms, they do not generally self-propagate. This characteristic makes them particularly difficult to detect.
- What’s more, it allows them to act as a backdoor by contacting a controller that allows unauthorized access to your computer. This also makes them extremely successful and subsequently extremely common – accounting for an estimated 83 percent of malware detections worldwide.
Safety starts with your operating system
Unfortunately, malware and viruses affect us all at some point and your vulnerability to external threats begins from the bottom up. Sadly, not all operating systems are created equal. After Linux, Mac OS is the most resilient to viruses and malware, with Windows OS the most vulnerable. In the mobile sector, Android is easily the most susceptible to attack, with Apple’s iOS being the most secure. However, whatever your operating system or device, it is important to take the necessary steps to remain protected at all times.
In some cases, this means a comprehensive suite of antivirus tools and utilities that protect numerous aspects of your computer’s operating system and hardware, in others, you may simply need an adblocker and email antivirus scanner in order to remain secure. Whichever option you decide to use, ensure you have the required tools and utilities to stay safe online.
How to stay safe online
Whilst a powerful antivirus program is very important, there are a number of other ways to help increase security while you are online. By following these simple tips, you will give your antivirus software the best chance of keeping your computer clean:
1. Regularly update antivirus software and other programs, including your operating system
2. Combine antivirus software with spam filters and do not open suspicious emails
3. Create complex passwords with numbers, letters, and special characters
4. Shop safely and only use trusted stores with the https extension in the URL
5. Keep yourself informed as to the latest scams and threats
The virus removal economy
Viruses consistently cause a significant amount of economic damage year after year – sometimes up to billions of dollars. This is because of the havoc they can wreak on large-scale systems, such as system failures, the appropriation of resources and data, maintenance and repair costs. Most viruses are purposefully written to attack Microsoft Windows systems. To help eradicate the threat of viruses to important systems, software developers and companies have built free, open source antivirus programs and virus removal tools, leading to the creation of a whole market based on fighting viruses.
These protective measures are available to users of all kinds of operating systems; however, no current antivirus software or virus removal tool can deal with all viruses in existence. That said, the economy and industry of antivirus software and virus removal tools is fervently researching ways with which virus solutions can better locate new viruses before they propagate.
mail.com provides a comprehensive removal tool as standard, so email dangers are averted before they can cause damage.
Powerful antivirus software from mail.com
Here at mail.com, we recognize the importance of virus protection. That’s why we’ve included our powerful antivirus software to provide full internet security, ensuring your email safety and peace of mind. What's more, our superior scanning software only checks for viruses – meaning you never have to worry about the privacy of your email communication. Activation of your antivirus is easy, and is as simple as selecting the antivirus option in your email settings. Once activated, our powerful antivirus tool will scan all emails and file attachments, not only detecting malware, but also removing all viruses, spyware, and Trojans. This ensures the safety of your work and/or personal computer, as well as your smartphone.
In order to ensure that your antivirus software is running optimally, mail.com implements regular updates that respond to the latest threats. Additionally, we also provide a powerful spam filter to help you isolate potentially harmful emails that may affect your computer. These features run alongside our Whitelist and Blacklist that allow you to mark your incoming emails as “trusted” or “untrusted” in order to provide further protection. Finally, with our external content blocker, you can minimize the risks associated with images and videos within you emails by deactivating them.
With mail.com you can rest assured that your devices are protected and your data and personal details are in safe hands. Sign up today and learn more about how mail.com can keep you safe online.
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