An antivirus is a program or set of programs designed to search for, detect, prevent, and remove viruses and other malicious software like worms, trojans, and adware. It’s critical for anyone who wants to keep their computers safe; a computer without antivirus software runs the risk of being infected by viruses within minutes of connecting to the internet. Attacks on unprotected computers are constant, as more than 50,000 new pieces of malware are discovered daily.
There are a wide variety of available antivirus software packages, and what each one can offer you varies. But any reputable antivirus should perform these basic functions:
- Scan specific files or directories to check for malware or other malicious programs
- Have the ability to schedule automatic scans
- Allow you to start a scan of a specific file, CD, or flash drive at any time
- Remove any malicious code detected - some programs notify you and ask if you want to clean the file, while others will automatically handle this behind the scenes
- Display your computer’s overall “health”
You should always be sure that you have the most up-to-date security software installed to protect your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone. Make sure to choose the software that’s right for you!