Antivirus software is a program or set of programs that are designed to prevent, search for, detect, and remove software viruses, and other malicious software like worms, trojans, adware, and more.
These tools are critical for users to have installed and up-to-date because a computer without anti-virus software installed will be infected within minutes of connecting to the internet. The bombardment is constant, with anti-virus companies update their detection tools regularly to deal with the more than 60,000 new pieces of malware created daily.
Several different companies build and offer anti-virus software and what each offers can vary but all perform some essential functions:
- Scan specific files or directories for any malware or known malicious patterns
- Allow you to schedule scans to automatically run for you
- Allow you to initiate a scan of a particular file or your entire computer, or of a CD or flash drive at any time.
- Remove any malicious code detected –sometimes you will be notified of an infection and asked if you want to clean the file, other programs will automatically do this behind the scenes.
- Show you the ‘health’ of your computer
Always be sure you have the best, up-to-date security software installed to protect your computers, laptops, tablets, and smartphones.