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Antivirus focuses on the detection of viruses and then works to remove them from a computer system. The software is essentially a preventative measure as most viruses are removed before they can do any damage to a computer system.

Viruses are unwanted programs that can cause harm to computer systems by stealing data, damaging files or even encrypting information. They can also be used to launch attacks against users through spam attack, phishing schemes and other methods of cyber theft. It is for this reason that most antivirus software products include malware protection.

The software can protect against malware threats by scanning incoming files, code and other content for any malicious signatures. It uses a database of known malware to identify and flag any malicious files. This method of detecting and removing viruses is called signature-based detection, which is one of the oldest forms of antivirus software.

Many modern antivirus software programs offer more advanced forms of protection, like heuristic detection. Unlike signature-based detection, heuristics do not compare files to a known database of malware but instead analyze the behavior of each file and program, looking for patterns that might indicate something is wrong. The best antivirus programs today use heuristics in combination with signature-based detection, to ensure that they can catch the most sophisticated new malware. Some products also provide a variety of other security features, like monitoring the dark web for evidence of criminals sharing customers’ personal information, to protect against more recent dangers.