What is antivirus software?

Anti-virus software, otherwise known as anti-malware software, scans your computer or mobile device to detect and restrict the spread of malware on your machine. Since malware is constantly evolving, anti-virus software cannot always detect it, so your machine is always at risk of infection. Anti-virus software is also deployed at an administrative level; many email servers use it to scan emails.

How does antivirus software work?

Antivirus can protect a device from a wide range of threats, including: malware, malicious browser helper objects (BHOs), browser hijackers, ransomware, keyloggers, backdoors, rootkits, trojan horses, worms, malicious LSPs, dialers, fraud tools, adware and spyware. Modern antivirus programs often include both real-time threat protection, which guards against possible vulnerabilities as they occur, as well as a system scan, which sifts through all of the device’s files looking for possible risks.

Several antivirus programs are available for almost every operating system, but none are perfect. Furthermore, more operating systems have begun pre-installing antivirus software, such as Windows Defender on Windows 10. You can install multiple antivirus programs on a single system, but users should be wary of compatibility and performance issues this could cause.

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