I'm curious if my antivirus could ever miss a dangerous virus/malware that could potentially compromise my computer's safety and passwords? And if so, is there any way to prevent this as well as how likely this is to occur? Thanks in advance.
Its possible. The Malware in this world changes so fast that sometimes the anti-virus companies like symantec or kaspersky labs can't keep up on rolling out updates. If the software is updated, its chances of missing something specific are slim to none depending on what you are running (some are better than others, krebs on security with pcmag tests antivirus software all the times and ranks them) and I believe how deeply entrenched it is, though I am a bit unsure on that one. The chances of you getting a brand new piece of malware that anti-virus software doesn't protect against is pretty slim to none, but that can change depending on how your browsing habits are, firewall settings, and if your pc is used for something high profile, as that can make it a target for stuff like keyloggers or possibly trojans, bot software, spyware, etc. I wouldn't worry so much because if you are using something other than MSE or Windows Defender, then you are fine. Personally, I run Norton 360 which gives me my real time, and if I think it missed something, I have malwarebytes anti-malware free that will scan behind Norton and see if it missed anything. Give malwarebytes a try. I highly recommend it.
Yes. Some of the virus files are encrypted and makes them undetectable to anti-virus. New viruses, Trojans, and malicious software emerge daily and not all of them are caught and added into "database" of your anti-virus program. Its important to always update your anti virus program so they can start detecting the newer ones but not all caught the moment they are out there.
The best protection of your computer is to follow these few things"
- Have good anti virus program like bit defender and kasperskpy. As bad as norton had bad reputation in the past, now their database is frequently and most up to date.
- Malwarebyte anti-malware program installed along with your anti virus for real time protection
- Addblock plus addon on your broswer
- Firewall on
-Read reviews on what and where you downloading from.
Remember that most "Malware" is basically a piece of software or code that allows a system to be compromised in order to infect a single system with a more potent virus that can then spread to other machines. It is usually just a vehicle for more dangerous code.
That is why Antivirus programs do not pick up on "Malware" coding, as it is specifically looking for the viruses that come after infection and spread. Anti-malware looks for the vehicle rather than the infection.