McAfee, Inc
Antivirus Firewall Software - What You Need to Know PDF Print E-mail

There are a lot of nasty things out there on the internet that can do some serious damage to your files and your computer. Viruses, malware, adware, spyware....trojans, worms, keylogger, the list keeps growing. Without protection any information on your computer... bank records, passwords, logins, credit card information...they are all available to a hacker.

Firewalls In Hardware

You may have a router from your ISP and/or a router you bought yourself. Your home router most likely has a firewall built in. The problem is that most only have 1 way protection. They will provide protection from coming in from the internet, but not from going out from your computer. If your computer is infected with a virus, that virus could be sending data out that you don't even know about.

Firewall Software

If you use a laptop away from home, your router firewall is no longer giving you any protection. You need a firewall for your pc also. Windows service pack 2 comes with a firewall but it does not protect against outbound communication. Vista comes with one built in to protect against inbound traffic but is fairly difficult to set up for unauthorized outbound traffic. You need firewall software that protects 2 ways, incoming and outgoing that you can count on and is easy to set up.

Antivirus Software

Antivirus software is like your home security system. It goes off when you have an intruder, IF it detects it. The problem is that the intruder is already in. And what if the virus is new and has not been defined? Then the virus is in and nobody knows. What we want to do is stop any infectious virus or malware from getting in. There are free antivirus software out there but they are only as good as their list of virus definitions, which are not updated.

Firewall and Antivirus Combined Software

To be fully protected you really need both. You need the firewall protection to stop any virus or malware from getting into your computer and network. You need up-to-date antivirus software to catch any new viruses that get by your firewall.

Antivirus firewall software has been designed to identify virus computer programs and isolate them or delete them from your computer.

However, virus programs are not the only computer nasty you should fear.

Here are 5 of the main threats. Does your antivirus firewall software have the ability to tackle each of these?

1: Malware is short for malicious software. It is software created to get into your computer system and create damage, or to infiltrate your stored information...without you knowing about it. An example could be a malicious program installed that copies your keystrokes when you enter login details to your online bank account.

Malware is becoming prevalent with detection becoming harder every day due to the sophistication of programming. It is very popular with organized internet crime gangs.

Malware doe not spread like virus programs and only top quality antivirus firewall software can identify the programs and their location.

2: Adware, otherwise known as advertising supported software. This automatically downloads or plays and displays advertisements after the software has been installed on your computer or while a certain application is being used.

3: Spyware, closely related to adware, spyware could also be a type of malware because it is installed on computers automatically without the users consent. It harvests or collects information without the knowledge of the user. This is then passed on to the software creators who may use it fo their own gains. A keylogger is a type of spyware, which monitors your keystrokes while accessing certain websites.

4: Worm or computer worm, is a self replicating program that is found mainly on network comuter systems. It makes copies of itself and sends these to other computers on the network. Antivirus firewall software should be kept up to date and ensure the firewall settings are set to 'on'.

5: Botnet, or software robots, also called just 'bots''. These are programs that run on their own and automatically. Usually an infected computer becomes a 'zombie' under the control of a 'bot master' who controls all of the 'zombie' machines. This allows the infected machine to be controlled by an external entity, usually to send out tons of spam and it is very difficult to trace who the 'bot master' is.


Antivirus Info