What is Antivirus Software

Posted on February 22nd, 2011 by by Shenron
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Antivirus is the key to protect your system from worms and Trojans, or its very handy for internet security, its functions are removing adware, spyware and suspicious malwares. Here you will find detailed information about the software’s used to protect and clean your system from all kind of threats.

To protect your system, there are different methods used to detect data in executable files. One such method is signature based detection. It deals with known patterns of data with executable code. But still a computer can be infected with a new virus for which no signature is known. One can use a heuristics to prevent these zero-day threats. There is a heuristic approach which makes use of generic signatures to detect new malwares or variation of a current virus by locating any malicious code or even any mild variations regarding such code in the files.

McAfee What is Antivirus Software

It is important for the users of antivirus software to have enough knowledge about prompts given to them by antivirus programs. One has to take the right decision while dealing with those prompts as a single wrong decision can lead you to security break.


It was in 1980s when majority of the computer viruses were written. Those viruses were supposed to be limited to self reproduction. Those viruses were written in such a way that no specific damage routine built into its code. But as more and more programmer became familiar with the virus programming, the viruses began to be written such a way that they could be manipulated and pretty much capable of infecting or destroying the files stores on infected computer.

There are so many competitors who claim for being the first to introduce the antivirus product. However, it is believed that Bernd Fix was the first who performed the publicly recognized removal of the computer virus in 1987.

In 1984, Fred Cohen published the first academic papers on computer viruses. Later, he indulged himself in developing strategies for antivirus software in the year 1988. These strategies were taken by others antivirus developers as a guideline.

Kaspersky Anti Virus What is Antivirus Software

In the same year, VIRUS-L (a mailing list) was introduced on the network called BITNE/EARN. The purpose of this mailing list was to discuss the new viruses, their detection and elimination. Two major names John McAfee and Eugene Kaspersky were the member of this mailing list at that time and both of them develop their own software companies where commercial antivirus software were developed and sold. These are still developing and selling antivirus software.

Before the evolution of internet connectivity, the major source of computer viruses was the floppy disks. People began to use antivirus software but those were not updated on regular basis. At that time, virus checkers were supposed to check executable files and the boot sectors of floppy disks. The viruses began to spread more quickly with an increase usage of the internet. This allowed the viruses to spread online rather than any other device.

Now it has become inevitable for antivirus software to check maximum number of files than confined to just executable files for a number of reasons.

  • As we all know that word processor applications like Microsoft Word make use of powerful macros. Virus programmers use macros to write virus set within documents. By doing this, they verified that whenever the infected file opened, the virus could infect the computer.
  • The second reason involves the email programs, especially Microsoft Outlook Express and Outlook. In this case the virus is rooted in the email message. As soon as the program is launched the virus infects your computer.

Nowadays, internet broadband is common in each and every house. This makes the virus developers much more active as every day new viruses are introduced. It is therefore necessary for all internet users to update their antivirus software regularly to prevent any major damage to their computers.