How Anti-Virus Programs Work
Most computer users have armed their home computer with protection from various harmful viruses that could be acquired from using the internet.
Have you ever wondered how these antivirus software programs go about discerning safe files from those that could infect your computer and cause
serious damage? There are actually several methods that these antivirus programs use to keep your computer safe from infection.
One method used is known as malicious activity detection. The antivirus software keeps tabs on the entire computer system. If there is any type of
abnormal behaviour from any program, the software may begin monitoring it using another of these methods that will be mentioned later in this article.
Another method and perhaps the most well used is signature based detection. The anti-virus software contains a dictionary of the various signatures
used by malicious computer viruses. What the software does is scan file contents. Then a comparison is made between those contents and the known
virus signatures. When a match is made then the virus is detected.
A third approach is known as file analysis. With this method the antivirus software looks for files that have instructions contained within them that are
similar to viruses. There are some drawbacks to this approach. In order for this method to work on your computer, the antivirus software must draw
upon a significant amount of computer's resources. This makes it difficult to do other activities when the software is running. This method also works
well to identify new viruses and their offshoots. Like other methods, on occasion certain files are earmarked as malicious when they are not.
File emulation is another manner in which antivirus software detects virus infection. What occurs with this approach is that a program is run and the
software monitors the actions of the software. Based upon these actions, the antivirus software can determine if the program is safe to your computer
or if it is malicious and should be removed. This