Can an Antivirus Remove Trojans?

The answer? Yes, a strong up-to-date antivirus is the best way to track down and remove any dangerous trojans that may have snuck their way onto your computer. BUT not all antivirus software are as good at doing this job, and we tested to make sure which ones are.

The trojan horse is one of the most common malware threats. These sneaky types of malware can intercept your computer without you realizing it and wreak havoc, controlling your data and disrupting your device or network performance.

Which is why a decent antivirus is the perfect safety net. 

We’ll discuss trojan horses in more detail and explain why a good antivirus is vital to keep your device and your personal information safe.

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What is a Trojan Horse?

A trojan is a sneaky type of malware that masquerades as legitimate and trustworthy software so that you are fooled into downloading it onto your device.

Where did the name come from?

Remember the old tale from the Trojan War? When the Greeks left behind an enormous wooden horse and pretended to abandon the Siege of Troy and when the Trojans took it inside, the soldiers hidden inside opened the gates to the Greek army and conquered the city?

Well, like the wooden horse, trojan horses disguise themselves as something else to gain access to your computer or device. Trojans might use the same file name as a legitimate app so that you’re tricked into inviting them in. The hackers controlling it can then access, modify or delete your data, as well as disrupt the performance of your computer or your computer network.

What do they look like?

The tricky part is that trojans can look like just about anything: a computer game you downloaded a month ago, a Twitter link you clicked on that led you to a strange website, or an email attachment you downloaded that was sent from an old friend’s email address.

Unlike viruses, trojans can’t spread on their own. Instead, they survive by staying unnoticed and hiding behind files and programs you think you can trust. Trojans rely on you to run them by mistake or through negligence.

What do Trojans do?

There are many different types of trojans, and they can do many different things. Once inside your device, it can lay low, collecting information and setting up holes or backdoors into your system undetected, or it may just take over your computer.

There are many uses or reasons for hackers to use trojans. Some of the main uses are to:

– Steal and Modify Data

Trojans are capable of accessing, altering and deleting data. This is especially worrisome if you store sensitive personal or business information on your device. Imagine having your client list stolen and sold to your competitor or losing all of your family photos without the possibility of recovery.

A trojan is often designed to wait patiently in the background until you access your banking app or enter your credit card details. It can also be used to collect data, such as recording the keystrokes and browsing history of the sites you visit, as well as your login details and passwords for websites and banking apps. Then it sends that information on to the hacker.

– Interrupt the Regular Performance of the System

Sometimes a hacker isn’t interested in your data but it wants to use your computer to stage a massive attack on another system or to mine cryptocurrency. With the rise in cryptocurrencies, cryptojacking has become an extremely profitable activity for hackers and is rapidly growing.

– Install More Malware and Create Backdoors

Once inside your device, trojans will often make changes to your security system, leaving a backdoor for a hacker to use later. It will often download and install other malware onto your device, making it vulnerable to viruses and worms.

How do you Get Infected with a Trojan Horse?

Trojans take advantage of the weakest link in your computer’s defenses: you.

These forms of malware are carefully crafted to trick the user into downloading a harmful file. By carefully disguising the malware as something you might want to download, hackers try to trick you into downloading it.

Trojans are everywhere, in emails, on social media, and on the web. By clicking on a clickbait ad or checking out an attractive offer online, your device can be infected with a trojan without you even noticing.

While not all hackers may be able to hack into the Pentagon, they understand human behavior very well. No matter how careful you are, it is almost impossible to avoid malicious links and files due to the sheer volume that exist.

Our Top 3 Antivirus Programs for Trojans

Not all antivirus programs are able to detect a trojan horse. In fact, many of the free or more affordable options may actually be malware in disguise! That’s why it’s vital to go for the very best tried and tested solutions so you can be sure you’re keeping your devices safe.

Looking for our recommendations? Our experts have tested all of the 47 antivirus programs on the market. We’d suggest Norton, Bitdefender and Avast as the top three antivirus programs for defending against trojans.

Why do I Need an Antivirus to Fight Trojans?

Luckily, antivirus programs cannot be so easily tricked.

They are designed to detect and protect against attack tools such as viruses, spyware, trojans, adware and other types of malware.

Many antivirus tools are designed to detect, block, and remove trojan infections. An antivirus will prevent you from venturing into malware-infested websites, scan innocent-looking files and attachments you download to ensure they do not contain trojans and viruses, and keep a constant watch over your online activities to make sure that nothing suspicious is going on.

Yes, an Antivirus Can Remove Trojans

As we’ve mentioned, it is virtually impossible to avoid contracting trojans completely. This is why an antivirus is a vital tool for filtering and removing any dangerous files that manage to get installed onto your device, and stop the damage from spreading.

An antivirus will ensure that trojans are not hiding low in your system, quietly stealing data or running off your computer’s resources. Looking for our suggestions? Check out our top three antivirus programs for protecting against trojans.

About the Author

Sophie Anderson
Sophie Anderson
Cybersecurity researcher and tech journalist

About the Author

Sophie Anderson has spent the last 10 years working as a software engineer for some of the biggest tech companies in Silicon Valley. She now works as a cybersecurity consultant and tech journalist, helping everyday netizens understand how to stay safe and protected in an online world.