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How does an Antivirus Program Work?

By Patti Kate
Updated May 16, 2024
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Antivirus programs are designed to provide ultimate protection against potential hazards a person might face while browsing the Internet. These programs work by identifying dangerous security threats that could compromise the performance of a computer. Antivirus software is also aimed at preventing security issues that often arise while using a computer, including the prevalent threat of identity theft.

Everyday, there are growing concerns to address regarding computer security. Ensuring computer security in the workplace and in the home has become a priority of individuals and businesses. This is primarily due to the continuous threat of new computer viruses and malicious software, or malware, that emerge on a daily basis.

An antivirus program works by maintaining a type of surveillance within a network. The virus program with antispyware will continuously check for threats from malware. The computer user has the option of running a quick virus scan, thus eradicating the most common low-risk problems found. For a more detailed analysis and troubleshooting solution, an in-depth virus scan is recommended.

There are several steps involved in the process an antivirus program employs to identify a potential threat to a computer. Considering there are new viruses, worms and spyware threats surfacing on the Internet regularly, subscribing to an antivirus program does not necessarily mean protection is complete. This is why it is believed crucial to maintain regular updates for continuous protection.

Other possible features of an antivirus program might include the addition of firewall protection. The antivirus software and firewall work in conjunction to form a barrier of protection, keeping intruders and hackers from gaining access to personal information. A antivirus program with complete protection can protect computer users against becoming victims of identity theft.

After the antivirus program is installed, the user will need to register the product. When set-up is complete, the software will begin to work instantaneously. A good program will carefully monitor the computer and ultimately eliminate any viruses, spyware and threats that are found. Virus detection found on the antivirus program will typically be isolated at first. The user will then have the option of removing the danger or keeping the infected file in isolation.

It's important to note that an antivirus program should specifically inform the consumer which operating systems are compatible with the software. Many older operating systems might not be compatible with the latest programs on the market. Typically, this information is available for consumer knowledge before downloading the antivirus software.

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Discussion Comments
By anon112440 — On Sep 20, 2010

Good advice. I got a program that was for a different OS, very frustrating trying to explain why I was returning an opened box. --Evan L.

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