DON’T TRUST YOUR ANTIVIRUS!


Antivirus, the front guard of every computer is a very important application that we must pay much attention. As we know, antivirus protects our computer from being hijacked and “monitored” by unauthorized person. But many people, I guess, still don’t understand how antivirus works and what they should do with installed antivirus in their computer. Because so far I work to repair some PC’s and laptops due to virus injection, I found some cases related to the users’ unawareness and carefulness. They are: choosing best antivirus, wrong antivirus setting, the usage of antivirus, and the users’ awareness to update their antivirus.

Choosing antivirus
Well, choosing antivirus is a crucial thing to be understood. Why? Because we can’t use antivirus only based on other people suggestion or testimony. There are some things we should know about choosing antivirus.
First is the usage of antivirus, whether it will be used in a stand-alone computer, or computer in a network (LAN, WAN, active internet connection). When we use a stand-alone computer without any network, just choose antivirus that capable to detect virus and malware. It is recommended so to “reduce” memory consumption and accelerate Windows start-up. We don’t need to install antivirus with anti-spam or anti-phishing capabilities because without network, it’s impossible for us to be bombarded by spam or being intruded by hacker.
If we have active internet connection, we should choose antivirus with anti-spam, anti-phishing, anti-malware, anti-rootkit, anti-drive-by, and much more capabilities. The most complete antivirus for this specification is Kaspersky. The others are BitDefender, Norton Internet Security, and AVG. But remember, the most complete an antivirus capabilities is, the longer your Windows will start. Because some antivirus loads its components while (together with) Windows start. So time consuming!
The second thing to consider in choosing antivirus is your memory (RAM). The bigger an antivirus is, the greater your RAM will be reserved for antivirus.
The third is your budget. If you have much money, you may buy the number one antivirus. But if you have limited budget for antivirus, just choose one of tens free antivirus on internet. Although they are free, but they have good abilities to protect our computer. Remember, it’s better to use free-licensed antivirus legally, than using cracked famous antivirus that may have contained malware. And please download antivirus from its official site, not from another site because today there are so many sites spreading fake antivirus that contains real virus or malware.

Wrong antivirus setting
Generally, we can install antivirus easily. Just follow the steps by clicking “Next” button for several times, and then our computer will have antivirus in it. But not all people have sufficient knowledge about configuring an antivirus to work optimally. In fact, default setting of an antivirus is sometimes unable to protect our computer maximally. For example: Avira antivirus (Personal Edition) has a minimum capability to detect “only” some types of virus while it can detects more if we configure it well. With a customized configuration, Avira can follow symbolic links that potentially harmful our computer, scan archive contents, and detect up to 12 types of threat categories (not only virus and malware, but also adware, spyware, back-door, phishing, and dialer).

The usage of antivirus
Some of us think that with an antivirus installed in our computer, means that we are stay protected. Because of this way of thinking, some of us try to “combine” several antivirus in one computer. In fact, antivirus works in memory. The more antivirus installed in our computer, the more memory is “stolen” by antivirus to only run it and give no sufficient memory to run other applications. Finally, our computer boot slowly, and even crash or can’t start another application fluently. In some cases, more than one antivirus installed in our computer will make the joy of web-surfing become pain.
Another reason to know about why we are recommended to not combine more than one antivirus is that antivirus has different method and “logic” to identify / recognize suspected activities such as virus or malware. While we have two or more antivirus work in our computer, they can “eat” each other. This could happen because a particular antivirus may recognize another antivirus scanner / auto protect system as malicious activities that should be removed.
Then, when we use a particular antivirus, we may not trust it 100% because antivirus is only protecting us from virus for 80%! The rest is about our awareness to update the antivirus and manually scan our computer regularly even the antivirus has auto protect system that runs all the time, scanning our computer. And don’t forget to scan our USB flash-disk before we open it or execute a particular content in it. How? Open Windows Explorer, hold our SHIFT button on keyboard (don’t release it before our flash-disk is plugged in and recognized), plug our flash-disk in, right click our flash-disk, and then scan with . After the scanning is complete, we may open our files in our flash-disk.
If we have active internet connection, don’t visit any porn sites, download cracked software, or open e-mail from unknown people with a suspicious attachment.

How often you up-date your antivirus
Antivirus works based on “database” that contains the virus name and its pattern. As virus is growing every day, antivirus database is also should be updated regularly so that the antivirus recognize new virus. Because, although we use the number one antivirus in the world, if we never update it, it will no more protect us.
And then, how often we should update our antivirus database?
Every day is good. Once in three days is recommended, and once a week is a minimum interval to update our antivirus database. The more often we update our antivirus, the better it will protect our computer from new virus variants. If we have internet connection, antivirus will update its database automatically without any notification. If we have no internet connection, visit the antivirus official site through warnet and download the updater files, and then follow the instruction to install the updater files.
If you are late in updating your antivirus and your computer has been infected by virus, don’t panic and you do not need to re-install your operating system. You may try to scan your computer with portable antivirus such as SuperAntiSpyware, Malwarebytes Anti Malware, or Avira Rescue System.

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  1. ifan
    September 9, 2011 at 10:08 pm

    Hi, I’m Ifan, a new computer learner. Nice post. It so helpful for me to understand how an antivirus work. Can i get more info about best antivirus? Thank you.

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