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Antivirus is software that protects your computer, smartphone, or tablet from viruses and malware. It scans files and directories on a schedule you set, looking for known patterns of malicious software and identifying them as such. It can also block threats from entering your device from the internet, stopping you from downloading free software from unknown sources, using peer-to-peer file sharing programs, or clicking on suspicious social media links.

Some antivirus programs have additional tools to prevent other kinds of online crime, such as phishing scams that steal your identity or attacks on your business systems to cause financial damage and data loss. Others feature parental controls and other features to keep your family safe while using devices like computers, phones, and tablets.

The Need for a New Approach to Malware Protection

As the sophistication of cyberattacks increased, off-the-shelf antivirus software became increasingly ineffective. Today, antivirus solutions should be part of a larger cybersecurity strategy that includes global scanning and threat intelligence sharing to address the latest attacks against businesses.

Malware functions with the intention of looting your bank accounts, stealing your identity, and many other activities of a harmful nature. Viruses and malware can be introduced into your system in a variety of ways, including through email attachments, USB drives, and other removable devices. Once they are in your system, they can do damage by deleting or corrupting files, stealing information, and destroying your device. Antivirus software guards against malware by detecting, blocking, and removing it as soon as possible.