You pay for a good antivirus suite, so it should be able to detect all viruses and threats, right? That’s easier said than done…
If you’re concerned with your digital security, chances are you have some kind of antivirus program installed on your devices. Antivirus software can be hugely beneficial in maintaining your safety on and offline, but do they work 100 percent of the time? Does antivirus remove all malware and viruses?
How Does Antivirus Software Work?
Anti-malware programs are inherently crucial in our digital activities, especially when online. There are thousands of cybercriminals around the world looking to exploit unsuspecting victims, be it for their data or money, or both. Cybercrime is a huge industry, so it’s no surprise that most of us use some form of antivirus program to protect ourselves.
All anti-malware programs have their own differences, but many of them work in a very similar way. A typical antivirus program will scan your device for suspicious or harmful incoming files or apps on a regular basis, including malware and viruses. You can either conduct manual scans or have the program run scans automatically.
Antivirus software comes equipped with a database of dangerous code, files, and other content so that it can more effectively highlight what may pose a danger to you and your device.
Once an Anti-malware program detects a malicious file or program, it will quarantine or isolate it so that it can no longer interact with other parts of your device. The program will then scan this file or program to see if it is indeed harmful, and will then delete it from your device if it deems that it could be endangering you or already is.
Does Antivirus Delete All Malware?
You’re likely paying a flat fee or monthly subscription if you’re using a legitimate anti-malware program (although there are free antiviruses too). So, in exchange for your money, you should expect total success, right? Not exactly.
In short, there’s no antivirus program out there that has a 100 percent success rate. Even the most popular and trusted anti-software providers out there, such as Norton and McAfee, cannot detect, quarantine, and delete every single dangerous program or file. There are numerous reasons why this is, starting with the antivirus databases.
As previously discussed, antivirus software uses a database of known malicious files and code to identify anything dangerous on your devices. If a kind of malware comes along that isn’t logged on the anti-malware database, it stands a chance of flying under the radar.
What’s more, certain kinds of malware and viruses are highly sophisticated and can be specifically designed to evade antivirus detection. Take a stealth virus, for example. This is a type of computer virus with the ability to bypass anti-malware barriers, making them incredibly dangerous to potential victims. Using code modification and encryption, this kind of code can evade your standard antivirus scans, and often require more high-level software to be stopped.
However, Norton and McAfee, two highly-rated antivirus programs, both have high success rates of 99 percent (as stated by Cybernews), so they’re still hugely beneficial.
On top of this, many anti-malware programs offer an array of additional security features on top of simple virus and malware detection. VPNs, password managers, anti-spam, file shredders, and firewalls are just a few of the useful features that you can use on a modern antivirus program to safeguard your devices.