What is Antivirus Software?

Antivirus software helps safeguard computers and mobile devices against computer viruses and malicious software (malware). By scanning for threats and blocking them, antivirus software protects users against attacks that could compromise privacy, steal data or cause other forms of harm to their device.

The top antivirus software programs feature an updated malware database as well as additional protection features like ransomware protection, password management tools and web protection.


Antivirus software is a type of security program that helps safeguard devices, files and hardware against any attacks from malware (malicious software). Typically running in the background and conducting system scans or monitoring specific files to detect and prevent infections from emerging, antivirus software should provide peace of mind that your devices, files and hardware remain protected from potential cyber-threats.

Uses smart heuristics to recognize modified versions of known threats. Scan removable devices, block pop-up ads and restrict web access to potentially hazardous sites. Provides protection from ransomware attacks which encrypt user files before demanding payment to return it.

Search for antivirus programs with customer support available by phone or online and money-back guarantees, updated regularly to detect new viruses and security threats, using as few resources as possible on either computer or mobile device, without using too many resources that will slow it down further. Furthermore, take note of their reviews, pricing plans, licensing options and software reputation so as to make an informed decision as to which product suits your needs best.

Compatibility with your operating system

Antivirus protection software protects computer systems against threats aimed at infiltrating them with malware that seeks to steal or corrupt data – such as viruses, spyware, phishing scams and other forms of malicious software.

Antivirus software provides protection from these cyber threats by comparing files and programs on a computer with its database of known virus types; those which match are quarantined and removed from the PC.

Some antivirus programs can also run suspicious software in a secure “sandbox” environment to test its behavior before deploying it onto a computer, providing extra protection against new forms of malware that evade signature-based detection methods. This helps guard against signature-less threats like ransomware.

Some antivirus solutions are portable, and can be run from a USB flash drive or CD/DVD without being installed onto an operating system. This can be especially helpful in instances when a computer won’t boot due to infection from viruses or other issues; examples include ClamWin Portable, Comodo Rescue Disk and Spybot Search & Destroy Portable.

Customer support

Antivirus (AV) software is a crucial component of any cybersecurity strategy and should be part of every digital device’s defense against viruses, worms, trojans, ransomware, spyware, adware keyloggers rootkits and botnets.

Antivirus programs should be regularly updated in order to remain ahead of emerging threats, deploying various detection methods that include specific and generic scanning; specific scanning for known types of malware, generic searching for patterns or parts known to be malicious, heuristic scanning based on how viruses operate; and heuristic detection which looks for viruses by studying how they operate.

All antivirus programs provide some form of customer support, whether by phone or online chat. Some offer money-back guarantees if they don’t meet expectations in terms of performance or features; many even feature knowledge bases with troubleshooting tips to assist users who might encounter any difficulties using their software.

What security threats can antivirus software protect you from?

Antivirus software provides essential protection from threats attempting to access your data. It can accurately detect and quarantine viruses that seek to steal information or destroy computers; detect phishing scams designed to trick users into clicking links leading to downloads; detect threats aimed at corrupting files; as well as detect and quarantine those trying to gain entry.

Premium antivirus programs also provide additional safeguards that help ensure online safety, such as cloud backup to restore files backed up before an attack or tools that help identify malicious websites and prevent phishing attacks.

When selecting an antivirus program, be sure to choose one with heuristic-based detection and uses a sandbox to isolate suspicious programs for testing in a safe environment. Furthermore, ensure the provider regularly updates its database of known virus definitions to remain up-to-date against cyber threats.

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