Thursday, May 5, 2016

How to choose your antivirus?

Install on their computer Internet security software is essential even if no antivirus is 100% foolproof. But still need to choose the one that best fits their needs.

Surfing the Internet is not safe. Millions of malicious files circulating on the web, trying to enter a maximum of connected computers. The virus disrupting or destroying computer data are still present, but now it is mainly Trojans and spyware to be feared. More discreet (see glossary below), these programs are used by hackers to get on the computers of individuals and companies all kinds of personal data (bank details, passwords, email addresses ...) used maliciously or for gain control of the remote computer. These spyware can hide in the middle of seemingly innocuous downloadable files for free on the Web or be concealed in attachments. It is also possible to become infected by surfing some websites and even on well-known sites. Hackers are also trying to retrieve personal data through phishing , a technique based on sending emails purportedly from a trusted third party (bank, e-commerce site, etc.) asking the user confirm IDs and passwords.

Faced with this threat, install on each computer in the house at least a firewall and an antivirus is vital. While the former is responsible for controlling the exchange of data between the computer and the network, the second attempts to identify malicious code that could fit on the hard drive or by comparing them to a signature database maintained by publishers, or by performing an analysis based on the recognition codes of the parties or on the behavior of files running on the computer.

The "all-in-one"
To make life easier for their customers, all Internet security vendors offer complete suites including both a firewall, an antivirus or various other protective functions (antiphishing, antispam, parental control, etc.). These suites supposed to provide complete security to users, are especially designed for less sophisticated users seeking above all a simple protection system to use. The vast majority of them have the advantage of allowing the user to control all the features of the security software from a single interface.

These suites can be purchased in stores in boxed version or downloaded from the Internet on the publisher's site. Before making your choice, remember to check the number of computers that can be installed the program (box version is usually multi, but sometimes the editor offers on its website a single-user version, cheaper) and the license term (1 or 2 years), that is to say the period during which the virus database can be updated regularly. Beyond this period, it will pay an additional subscription or risk seeing your software quickly become obsolete.

You should also know that internet security software use more or less disk space (to consider if your hard disk is almost full), RAM and CPU resources. It is therefore possible that they slow down the computer. To get an accurate idea of the effects of an Internet security suite on your computer, it is recommended before purchasing the software permanently download its trial version. Most publishers offer. Attention because some may not be updated, render inactive certain functions or are not translated into French. Instead, download the evaluation version is sometimes possible to receive email discount offers on the paid version!

The alternative free
If the Internet security suites are relatively expensive (40 to 70 euros on average), it is possible to save money by switching to free software. All Internet service providers make available to their subscribers a parental control software , some messengers contain a spam filter and most web browsers (Internet Explorer 7, Firefox, Opera) now include a function antiphishing . Windows and Mac OS operating systems contain, in turn, an integrated basic firewall. Finally, security vendors offer free antivirus available to users whose performances have nothing to envy to those paid versions. But be careful though, because some do not protect against spyware or rootkits , wear no attention to downloading files does not necessarily control the emails and attachments before saving them on the computer or do not attempt to identify in real time the websites that can infect your computer. They do not benefit from the latest innovations in behavioral analysis. Many gaps that could prove fatal for the less experienced users.

In any case, better to have in mind that no security software, whether free or paid, is foolproof. To limit the risks to the maximum, the user must exercise great vigilance. Avoid surfing uncertain websites to download files whose reliability is not assured or open suspicious attachments, even if they appear to be from one of your contacts. It is also essential to regularly updates its software (firewall, antivirus, but also operating system and web browser) and open an account dedicated to the Internet (surf via the administrator account makes it easier access pirate files and system settings). Finally, never transmit identifiers or online passwords, even when your bank, apparently in any case, or any other institution prompted. To check the authenticity of this application, just switch, for example, the site's home page. Otherwise, your data could end up stronger in the wrong hands.

The different kinds of malicious files
It disrupts the functioning of the computer, destroy data or damages the equipment. He always hides in a seemingly innocuous file.

It spreads autonomously, mostly in the form of an attachment to an email.

The Trojan (or Trojan horse, or trojan)
This seemingly innocuous program conceals a hidden feature that allows the attacker to access the data contained in the computer or even take control of the machine.

Spyware (or spyware)
This file is responsible for transmitting the hacker personal information on the computer. There are several variants, including:
- Adware, which lists the sites visited by the user to show targeted advertising on the computer screen;
- Keylogger (or keystroke logger) that records what the user types on the keyboard to detect credit card numbers, user IDs, passwords, etc. ;
- The hijacker that changes the home page, changes the search page or add bookmarks to the web browser.

The rootkit
This software hides the open fraudulent access by hackers to allow them to enter whenever they want in the heart of the machine.

This is a category of spam (unsolicited email) is in the form of an email purporting to come from a trusted third party (bank, online marketplace, online auction site ...). This contains a link back to a pirate site where, under the pretext of updating or verification, the recipient is asked to provide personal data (username, password ...).

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