Digital India Myths: Antivirus

Raj PagariyaCyber Security


Anti virusAs long as we engage with the Internet, viruses surround us. The fact that viruses exist and keep on infecting computers is that no one has entirely figured them out yet. In fact, it is pretty amusing that a lot of people believe in many myths and misconceptions about viruses and other types of malware, as well as antivirus softwares. To clear up the confusion, The Cyber Blog India has come up with a list of the most common myths that you need to debunk right now-

Myth #1: Installing Antivirus means my PC is secure.

It is one of the most common misconceptions about antivirus software that their presence is all you need to secure your computer. Viruses are none other than pieces of code, just like your antivirus software. It is important to understand that those people who have knowledge of both a virus and its remedy create viruses and antivirus softwares. Viruses and antiviruses always update themselves and compete against each other.

Myth #2: My PC is safe as I regularly update my Antivirus.

This is another myth that if you update your antivirus software regularly, your computer is safe. However, certain advanced viruses and malware can trick antivirus software because of the way they are coded.

Myth #3: I don’t use the Internet on my computer. There is no way a virus can infect my computer.

Your PC does not get viruses and other malware from the Internet only. USB drives, CDs, and DVDs are other popular mediums through which infections spread. Malware may also be present in some of the softwares, games or files you are using. Even if they are popular and trusted, they can be obtained from untrusted sources like your friend’s hard disk.

Myth #4: My Antivirus detected a virus. I must delete it.
My Antivirus found some viruses on my system and deleted them. My PC is clean now.

Not all the files detected by your antivirus application as “infected” are necessarily infected. There is no guarantee that your antivirus application will treat other beneficial softwares, tools or files in a friendly way. It happens many times that some antivirus applications determine other applications such as anti-spyware, and anti-adware. Sometimes other security applications or your important files suspiciously block their usage. So you cannot be sure, whether the “infected” file is really infected.

Myth #5: Purchased Antivirus is better than Free Antivirus.

If you know some programmers and have some money to form a little company, you can also create an antivirus application. So if you think you have purchased an antivirus and now you are more secure, you need to give it a thought again. There are options in the antivirus market that are not only free but also effective enough to keep you secure from most of the common threats. Money cannot decide how good an antivirus software is.

Myth #6: I’ll format my computer and remove all viruses in it.

Viruses use things to activate themselves called “Triggers.” They can be anything like a simple text file such as an autorun.ini file commonly found in pen drives, any combination key, or clicking or double-clicking a file and so on.

Myth #7: My computer is running slow these days. I think a virus has affected it and I need an Antivirus.

It happens most of the time when the virus infects your computer. The virus starts slowing down the performance, or at least slowing down your internet connection speed. This is because viruses and their cousins tend to connect with their secret servers. But it is not at all necessary that just because your computer’s performance is slow, it is because of the viruses. There might be other reasons; such as you have not run the Defragmentation application for long, you have installed many applications on your computer, your hard disk is full of songs and movies, and many more.

Myth #8: I don’t need an Antivirus.

Those trying to create viruses, spyware, and adware, in addition to the ones creating vaccines for them in antivirus companies, are much smarter than most of us. Not only are they smarter but also they keep evolving every now and then. Therefore, we have no choice and must trust such applications for most of our common safety needs.

Above all of those anti-xyz security applications, the best tool to protect yourself is your brain. When was the last time you updated it?

Check out our other posts in the Digital India Myths series on Incognito Mode, Long Passwords = Secure Accounts, Facebook, Identity Theft and Virus.