Operation and components of antivirus software

How antivirus software works

Anti-virus software today consists of a large number of different, and sometimes even independently operating components. The classic virus scanner and the firewall are among the best known, but there are also many other features such as the targeted search for phishing emails, the defense against malware and surfing protection, and more often optimization tools that can improve the functioning of the computer and manage the memory independently. The basic functions that should be included in a good antivirus software will be presented shortly in the following sections. However, this can happen only partially, because between the individual providers, there are significant differences in performance and functionality.

The virus scanner and the firewall

These two basic components are included in each antivirus program and are primarily concerned with defense and threat detection. While the virus scanner scans the existing files and structures for viruses, the firewall is a pure defense against known threats. The firewall is almost the preliminary work and the virus scanner "cleans" the hard drive once again more accurate and thorough. A firewall can only partially protect against threats, because unlike the virus scanner, it works only with the data of active Internet traffic and does not access existing files. This separation happens deliberately because the individual components remain so powerful.

The phishing filter

Although many email providers offer their own protection features, but especially with an increased volume of communications via email protection against phishing attacks is inevitable. This feature scans the email for suspicious features immediately after arrival in the mailbox and automatically passes alerts. This filter is special, but it can also be used more extensively and often includes a malware and content protection check. Although these additional features often appear as proprietary and additional programs in the shore interface, they are still often part of the pishing filter and are managed independently by this part of the software.

Search for malware and adware

Although this function is often also taken over by the virus scanner, but just as often there are their own scanners that can search much more powerful and effective by the separation of the normal virus scanner. These features are specifically designed to address the known malware and adware threats and explicitly look for such structures within the system. Especially computers that are surfed a lot on the internet are vulnerable and need independent protection against malware and adware. The user interface is similar to the virus scanner and the malware blocker and both have the ability to treat the affected files to their own taste, or to be treated automatically by the system.

Automatic Updates - The most important feature of an antivirus program

The automatic updates are probably the most highly valued feature of an antivirus program. The automatic updates guarantee a constant update not only of the program and the functions themselves, but also the virtually vital updates of the virus databases and known threats. The automatic updates are thus in principle the gateway to the world of viruses for the program and provide the individual components with important information, which are integrated into the search algorithms and thus guarantee optimum protection.

Performance Optimization Tools

While these tools are not necessarily a hallmark of good antivirus software, they are now supplied almost standardly. The functions of such tools are entirely concerned with the management of the memory and provide either in the background or when activated for optimized memory utilization. The tools take care of the registry, the available memory, but also the deletion of temporary files and the Internet history. Especially the latter is a useful function, because anonymous surfing the Internet is guaranteed in the long term.


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