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Viruses are pieces of software that are designed to damage your computer or steal your information. They are often triggered when you visit a malicious website, open an attachment in an email, or download a file from a suspicious website.

The best antivirus software can detect and remove existing malware, preventing new infections from forming. It also protects all your internet-connected devices. The program should not slow down your device, and should not require constant monitoring.

Aside from malware, antivirus software protects your computer from other threats, including hackers. These hackers can hack into your Wi-Fi network, hijack downloading files, and hack into your operating system. It also prevents you from visiting harmful websites.

To combat new viruses, antivirus companies update their signature databases. These signature databases are digital fingerprints that give AV software a unique identifier. However, the problem is that no single algorithm can detect all viruses.

Hence, it is important to have an antivirus program that uses heuristic analysis techniques to catch unknown strains of malware. The program should also have an on-access scanning function to look for malware in real time.

Viruses can be removed from a computer by deleting the infected files. The program should also be updated frequently to deal with new viruses. Antivirus software should also be installed on your mobile device. Several of the top antivirus companies offer premium protection solutions.

These programs also provide firewall features. Most programs allow you to set a scan schedule and automatically download updates when online. You can also use a manual scan for specific files or directories.