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If you use a computer or mobile device to connect to the internet, you need antivirus software. Antivirus software is a vital component of your overall cybersecurity strategy in the battle against viruses and malware (malicious software), which can cause data breaches, system shutdowns and other costly problems.

What is antivirus?

Computer virus software primarily performs prophylactic functions, meaning that it prevents viruses from entering your computer system and harming your files. It does this by scanning for known malware and viruses and comparing them against a database that keeps track of their patterns. When the antivirus detects a potential virus, it isolates the program and blocks its actions to protect other programs on your device. If the antivirus determines that a file is indeed dangerous, it quarantines or deletes it from your device entirely.

Aside from preventing viruses and malware from causing damage, antivirus software can also help you avoid falling prey to other cyberthreats such as spyware, trojan horses, adware, worms and more. Malware typically enters your computer system and performs activities such as looting your bank accounts, spying on your behavior to target ads or stealing data from your device’s operating systems.

Viruses are particularly active on business networks, as businesses offer large caches of consumer data and present a larger target for criminal hackers looking to make a name for themselves through hacktivism or simply score a payday by stealing company finances. Additionally, many small businesses lack the resources to invest in a strong cybersecurity defense. But with the right managed IT security services, it is possible to keep viruses, malware and other threats at bay.