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Using an antivirus program protects your computer against harmful viruses, spyware, and other threats. It helps to prevent a number of problems, including identity theft.

When an antivirus program detects a threat, it can either remove it or quarantine it. Depending on the type of antivirus software you have, some can also notify you of the infection. This can be a useful feature if you don’t want to wait for the program to update its database.

In the past, antivirus programs relied heavily on scan strings, which described known variants of malware. Today, many antivirus solution vendors are adopting new methods, including combining cloud integration with expert threat analysis.

Most modern antivirus products update automatically, preventing new threats from being detected. Some also use artificial intelligence to find and remove malware. Depending on the type of antivirus software, it can also be configured to scan in the background.

New malware is emerging every day. This makes it a challenge to defend digital assets. Hackers are constantly creating new forms of software, so a reliable security solution must include a number of advanced technologies.

An antivirus program is also able to detect malware that encrypts data or steals data. It can also help protect your identity from phishing scams and other attacks.

Viruses are often programmed to take control of your computer and monitor your accounts. They can also be used to spy on you through your webcam. If you’re not using antivirus software, you could accidentally pick up a virus on a USB drive or from a sketchy website.