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Antivirus (or anti-virus) software is a program designed to protect your computer from malicious software, also known as malware. Malware includes viruses, worms, ransomware, spyware, and trojans, among others. The main function of antivirus software is to detect, prevent, and remove malware from your computer or network.

Key Features of Antivirus Software

  • Real-time scanning: Antivirus programs continuously monitor your computer for potential threats, enabling them to identify and neutralize malware before it can cause harm.

  • Malware detection: Antivirus software uses a combination of signature-based detection and behavioral analysis to identify known and unknown malware. Signature-based detection relies on a database of known virus signatures while behavioral analysis examines how the software behaves on your system.

  • Automatic updates: Since new malware is created daily, antivirus software must be frequently updated to stay effective. Most antivirus software can automatically update their virus definitions (database of known malware signatures) and software modules to maintain maximum protection.

  • Quarantine and removal: Upon detecting malware, antivirus software will attempt to either remove the threat entirely or quarantine it to prevent it from causing further damage to your system.

  • System scans: It is essential to perform regular system scans to identify and remove any malware that may have bypassed real-time scanning. Most antivirus programs offer quick, full, and custom scanning options.

  • External device scanning: Antivirus software can also scan external devices, such as USB drives and CDs, for potential threats before they can infect your computer.

  • Email protection: Email is a common vector for malware distribution. Antivirus programs often include email scanning as a feature to detect and prevent email-borne threats.

By installing and maintaining an up-to-date antivirus program, you can significantly reduce the risk of falling victim to cyber attacks and maintain a secure environment for your computer and personal data.

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