Your AntiVirus Program is at the forefront of your system's
defense against infection, and even if you feel that you don't need all
the other layers of protection (which you really do) as described on
the "Do's and Don'ts of Security Programs"
WIKI page, then you should at least have a decent Anti-Virus program.
Anti-Virus programs are designed to always be running on your
system with what is called Real Time Protection. This means that it is
constantly working in the background looking for changes being made to
the system by malicious files and programs.
A good Anti-Virus will protect against Viruses, Worms, Trojans
and sometimes Rootkits, but as these infections are becoming more and
more sophisticated, you need to have more than just the one layer of
install two AntiVirus Programs. They
will conflict with each other and leave you with an insecure unstable
Worms and Viruses are designed for all intents and purposes to
wreak havoc on the system, they are capable of spreading through the
system and infecting files by either attaching to the files or
corrupting the file so that it is no longer recognized by Windows, they
can also spread to other machines on the network and can recreate and
protect themselves' from removal.
A "Trojan Horse" is a
little different, its main goal is to get on to the machine
undetected so it can then connect back to its server to install all
types of other malicious programs (Malware).
These can range from "Viruses", "Worms", "Backdoors", "Spyware", "Adware", "Rogues" and "Rootkits".
Rootkits are the protective layer of Malware and their sole
intents and purposes are to protect the malware from detection and
In the past a virus was a virus and a worm was a worm and a
Trojan was a Trojan. These days it is just not like that; every
infection is now some form of hybrid in some way or another, and more
than likely will have some sort of protective Rootkit attached.
Most Anti-Virus Programs will also detect some forms of Adware
and Spyware, and most Anti-Virus Programs come bundled with some sort of
feature. An Anti-Virus program's main job is to detect and remove
Viruses, hence the reason you need an Anti-Spyware program installed.
Anti-Virus programs monitor
changes to the system in areas and ways that infections are known to
access the system; they will then prompt you to take action and these
options will more than likely be:
Unless you are 110% sure that the file is safe, I never
recommend that you Ignore a file flagged a malicious.
I only recommend that you delete a detected file
if you are sure that it is malicious and you have doubts about the
file you were opening, in which case you should not be opening it
As for the Quarantine option, this is the one I
recommend that you do take. This option will put the file that was
flagged in a folder of the AntiVirus program normally called the Vault
or Chest or something similar where it can do no harm to the system.
Putting a flagged file in Quarantine will give you the chance
research and find out if the file is indeed malicious or if it was a
legitimate file flagged as what is called a false positive.
False Positives are files that security programs mistakenly
recognize as malicious when in fact they are part of a completely safe
Once you have deemed if the file is legitimate or malicious, then,
and only then, should you Delete or un-Quarantine
The most common files flagged as false positives are files from
other security programs, CD/DVD burning programs like Daemon Tools or
Nero, and sometimes in rare cases, even key Windows system files can be
flagged as malicious.
That's the reason why you should always Quarantine
and not Delete. If it turns out to be a legitimate Windows file
and you delete it, you may render your system unbootable and you could
lose everything you have saved to the hard-drive as a reinstall of
Windows may be the only option left.
If you Quarantine a file, the file will be
stopped from running and will be taken from the system and held in a
place that it can do no harm to the system.
If you Delete a file and it turns out to be
legit, then you could stop a program from working how it should of you
could even kill the whole system.
If you Ignore a file and it is bad, then you will
be infected and could either spend weeks trying to clean your system
you could be hacked and become the victim of identity fraud or you
could kill your system.
If you are not sure what you should do when you Anti-Virus flags a
file, then I suggest you Quarantine the file and seek
help from the "Malware Removal Forum", where someone will be along as soon as possible to
help you clean you system.
If you would like help in cleaning your system, please read THIS
page and then please start a New Topic in the "Malware
Forum" by clicking the button.
As for what you should be doing with your Anti-Virus Program once
it is installed, there are a few main pointers that are true of all
Every program is different and each will have its own benefits
and features but the main things to remember are:
Learning how to use your Anti-Virus program is very important and
the reason that I decided to write this page. There are far too many to
write instructions, (Believe me, I tried.), but there are a lot of
machines getting infected due to people not
understanding how to protect themselves
. I you need any help or
advice on your security program then please start a NEW topic in
& Spyware Discussions" Forum where someone will be more than
happy to offer any advice you need and point you in the direction of a GOOD
tutorial for your chosen Security Program. Please be aware that
although there are some very good tutorials out there, there are also
some very bad ones. If in doubt, ask.
NOTE: Remember not to take
anything for granted; nothing is
100% secure due to the huge amount of infections floating
around in cyberspace. The
biggest weapons you have against hacking and infection are knowledge,
common sense, and most of all USER CAUTION.