Viruses are harmful programs that can infect and disable a computer. Antivirus software for business is intended to block virus threats, and help protect a company from malicious attacks. The most common types of antivirus programs are anti-malware, anti-spyware, browser security, and network firewalls. Businesses can also use phishing protection and junk mail filters to shield e-mails from potential viruses.
Anti-malware is software that protects against a wide range of computer threats. Any software that is designed to disable or damage a computer can be classified as malware. Some malicious programs called "trojans" are disguised as legitimate software and corrupt a computer once they are installed. Other types of malware called "worms" are able to replicate themselves and can spread quickly through many different files. Business anti-malware programs are able to detect each of these dangerous threats.
Anti-spyware utilities are designed to detect and block programs that invade the privacy of a business. Spyware is a harmful type of software that secretly gathers confidential information and transmits it to criminals. These types of viruses typically collect sensitive material such as passwords or even credit card numbers. Anti-spyware is a particularly valuable type of antivirus software for business users, because it can help prevent customer data from being stolen and shared with crooks.
Many businesses rely on the internet as a communication and sales tool. Some web browsers can be exploited and damaged by harmful web sites. Browser security software helps ensure that only safe web sites are accessed. These security programs prevent "popup" ads from appearing, and are often able to pre-screen hyperlinks from search engines and other sites. This allows business users to see if a site can be trusted, or if it is suspicious.
Network firewalls provide an important layer of virus protection for businesses. A firewall constantly monitors the traffic on a network, and allows only pre-screened programs to communicate with a computer. This helps prevent hackers or automated viruses from exploiting a network and gaining access to a computer. Every business device that is linked to the internet or a corporate network should ideally have antivirus software installed.
Phishing protection and spam, or junk mail, filters are two additional types of business antivirus software that are often bundled together. A phishing attack uses a false e-mail address or fake web site to gather sensitive information from a company. Antivirus programs that include phishing protection are able to determine if a message is from a legitimate source. Similarly, spam filters help reduce exposure to viruses by blocking automated malicious e-mails from reaching the inbox.