4 Functions of antivirus software

Antivirus software is a necessary evil. While it doesn’t add value to your business, it is absolutely essential in keeping your users safe online. Here are 4 functions of antivirus software that you should be aware of:

Antivirus software is a finely tuned piece of technology, but it is also rather intimidating. Sorting through all the features and functionality can become overwhelming. If you are trying to decide whether or not you really need antivirus software, then this post should help make your decision easier.

Antivirus software has four functions:

  1. It protects your computer from viruses and other malware by scanning all files that are downloaded to your computer for viruses. If a virus is found, it will be removed from the file.
  2. It can also scan individual emails for viruses before they arrive in your inbox.
  3. Another function of antivirus software is to scan files on your hard drive to see if there are any viruses or other malicious software hiding in them. If so, it will remove them.
  4. Finally, antivirus software can keep track of all updates on your computer so you know exactly what needs updating and when, without having to worry about missing out on important updates that could leave you vulnerable to security breaches or attacks from hackers (who use an exploit).

Antivirus software is a tool designed to protect your computer from malware, viruses, and other threats. It does this by scanning all files on your computer for malicious code that could harm your device. If it finds any malicious files, it will quarantine them so they can’t infect your system.

Antivirus software also has a variety of other functions that help keep your device safe:

Some antivirus programs can scan email attachments and block attachments with harmful code.

Some antivirus programs can scan links in emails or text messages and block links that point to sites with harmful content.

Some antivirus programs can scan webpages when you visit them and block websites with harmful content or dangerous links.

4 Functions of antivirus software

Antivirus programs are designed to protect your computer from malware, a term used to describe malicious software. Malicious software, including viruses, trojans and keyloggers, may delete your files, slow your computer and steal your personal data. Consequently, choosing a good antivirus program is imperative. With so many antivirus programs available in the marketplace, it may help to understand some of the functions that an antivirus performs so that you can compare them.

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Virus Detection

The primary function of antivirus software is to detect and remove computer viruses. This is typically done by scanning files on your computer and comparing data in the files to a database of known virus signatures. This database is updated regularly, often several times each day, to ensure that your antivirus program has the most up-to-date virus definitions to detect all known virus threats. Most antivirus software has the ability to detect viruses both during a scan and in real time at the point of infection.

Malware Removal

Some antivirus software also detects and removes malware and other harmful programs that may be installed on your computer. Separate malware scanners were needed in the past due to coding differences between virus programs and malware, resulting in computer users who just installed an antivirus becoming infected with malware and not knowing it. An increasing number of antivirus programs now include malware detection and removal to offer more complete protection for your computer.

File Quarantine

The ability to quarantine files without deleting them is an important feature of many antivirus programs because quarantines help protect your computer against false positives during virus scans. A false positive occurs when a program or file that is not infected is identified by your antivirus as a virus file and action is taken against it. If your antivirus is set up to quarantine files for later review, the detected file is cut off from system resources but is not deleted until you manually choose to delete it or a pre-set period of time has passed. If the file is safe you have the option of removing it from quarantine and protecting it from future detection.

Threat Identification

As new viruses and malware threats are released, antivirus programs can aid in their identification. If your antivirus has the ability to recognize potential threats that aren’t in its virus definition database it may send a copy of the potential threat to its manufacturer for identification. This speeds up the process of new viruses being officially identified and added to virus definition files, ensuring more complete protection not just for you but for others as well.

Data Protection

Because there is still a risk of file corruption or other damage if a virus isn’t detected immediately, some antivirus software offers online backups of vital files that can later be restored if the files become infected, corrupted, or otherwise damaged. This feature is typically available only with paid antivirus subscriptions; the subscription price helps cover the cost of hosting and the bandwidth involved in creating and restoring the backups.

Online Security

Just as some antivirus software helps protect against malware and other threats, some programs also feature components that help in other ways to keep you safe online. Built-in intrusion detection, fraud monitoring, and phishing recognition alert you if someone attempts to access your computer from a remote location or if a website attempts to redirect your browser or steal your personal information. Untrustworthy sites or pages with potentially harmful downloads may be blocked, protecting your computer by preventing the damaging action before the site can load.


Most antivirus programs have the ability to alert you when a program is trying to access your computer. An example would be an online application. Many of the programs that attempt to access your computer are harmless or downloaded voluntarily and thus the antivirus program will give you the option of allowing or preventing the access.

Additional Functions

Depending on the antivirus software, it may perform a host of additional functions. These may include outbound email protection, instant messaging protection, identity theft protection and pop-up blocking.

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