In an article explaining the differences between antivirus and anti-malware, and which tools protect you from both, Lifehacker recommends that you install their favorite, avast! Free Antivirus. AVAST “scans for as much as possible, and has an on-access scanning engine that protects you from threats while you surf the web, install applications, and open files.”
Viruses, Malware, and Trojans…Oh, My!
The name “Antivirus” became popular over a decade ago, when computer viruses were making headlines and being featured on nightly news broadcasts. Consumers became aware of the term, therefore marketers adopted it to describe the protection security software offered.
“Today viruses are the minority when it comes to malware,” explains Jiri Sejtko, Director of the AVAST Virus Lab. “More common than viruses is malware like Trojans, Worms, Backdoors, Exploits, Adware, and PUP (Potentially Unwanted Programs), which can include communication clients, remote desktops and password revealers, just to name a few.”
Cybercrooks are driving the change. Back in the day, it was enough for a hacker to have his ego stroked by playing practical jokes, but the diversity of the early market and platforms kept early viruses from spreading far and wide.
“The focus of online criminals has shifted and therefore malware has changed, “ said Sejtko. “Criminals see today’s online society as an opportunity to steal personal data including credit card and banking details, pins and passwords, and information such as home addresses, phone numbers and even the names of family members.”
Trojans such as Zeus, collect personal data which can be sold to crime organizations who can then steal money directly from the victims bank account.
Because of the huge user base of 184 million people worldwide, the AVAST CommunityIQ virus detection system is an effective tool. Each user who opts in is connected via the cloud, which allows each file execution to be analyzed online. When new threats are detected, a close to real-time update is sent to all users, without the need to download massive virus definition packages. These updates, which come multiple times during the day, provide immediate protection against all the newest malware. This chart, from AV-Test, shows the number of updates sent to users in the last 24 hours.
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