Security in layers is always a good approach. Using an antivirus provides a layer of security that can help detect and protect your system from viruses and malware. The University of Hawaii provides a free antivirus client for all students and staff, for both Window and Mac OS.
There are two types of antivirus software: signature based and behavior based. Signature based antivirus scans your computer for known malicious programs. It does this by checking the signature or unique identifier of the program and compares it to a database of signatures. If it finds a malicious program it will attempt to neutralize it. Behavior based antivirus monitors the actions of installed programs on the system. It checks for any suspicious actions such as making changes system files. If it finds a program acting suspiciously it will notify you and may try to stop it.
- Only use antivirus software from known and trusted vendors.
- Keep your antivirus software up to date. Have automatic updates enabled.
- Regularly scan your system or schedule weekly scans during down time.
- Be familiar with your antivirus software. Know what features it offers, alert or messages, and how to configure its settings.
- Do not disable your antivirus software if you feel it is slowing down your system or blocking you from websites. This will leave your system vulnerable and the slowness may be an indication of something else wrong with your system.
- Do not have multiple antivirus software installed at the same time. This will most likely cause conflict or other problems on your systems. It could even reduce the effectiveness of the antivirus software.
- Have your antivirus automatically scan portable or removable media, such as USB or external hard drives.