Is anti-virus really helpful?

Having anti-virus on computer was really helpful several years ago, but when new types of computer infections emerged, anti-virus became not as powerful tool as it used to be. Some experts even start questioning the methods most anti-virus application uses to located and delete threats. Computer viruses are not welcome on a machine; however, is anti-virus really needed? And if so, does it really do the best to fight malware?

According to security experts, the methods used by the most common anti-viruses are old fashioned. Anti-viruses recognize a virus either by its files or more commonly by its behavior. This scheme was working for a while; however many people notice comic situation in this area. Malware creators release some virus, then anti-virus creators work to make a “cure” and then we can watch the same moves again and again. Can an anti-virus protect a computer while working on this scheme? And more importantly: can anti-virus creators really say their product prevents infections?

The technologies keep changing, so there can’t be a way to locate and remove 100% of viruses and other malware. Signature-based anti-virus (the one that labels virus-like behavior and recognize similar entries in a future) is not useless; otherwise it wouldn’t be so popular. However even anti-virus creators themselves agree on the need of new solutions. The need for different strategy is huge: anti-virus can’t stop data leakage; it can’t control every application running on a machine. Users can choose security suites or bundle anti-virus, anti-spyware, firewall, anti-spam tools by themselves, but isn’t it too complicated way to manage computer’s security? As long as anti-virus can only partially protect a machine, users should put a trust in anti-virus alone.

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