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Computer viruses are a form of malware that can damage your operating systems and programs, or even hijack your devices, to give criminals access to your personal information. Antivirus software scans your computers, mobile phones and other devices to detect and destroy any viruses they find.

Modern antivirus programs use multiple detection techniques to identify different types of malware. These include specific detection, which looks for known pieces of malware; generic detection, which searches for patterns that are common among different types of virus; and heuristic detection, which analyzes the behavior of files and programs to infer whether they may be malicious. Some antivirus software also scans for sandbox analysis, which runs suspicious files in a virtual sandbox environment to determine whether they are safe or harmful.

Most for-purchase antivirus packages offer protection on Windows, Macs and other operating systems as well as on smartphones and tablets. Some come with additional benefits for businesses that want to track and protect their data and accounts against newer cyber threats, like monitoring whether a company’s passwords have appeared in a massive dump of stolen credentials on the dark web.

It doesn’t matter if your business is big or small, as any business with access to consumer data represents a potential target for hackers looking to score caches of private information and make a name for themselves through hacktivism (disrupting professional systems for political or social reasons). The bottom line is that you need a strong antivirus solution to protect your devices and the people who work on them.