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Antivirus software protects against malware threats including computer viruses, worms, Trojans, adware, and spyware. It works to prevent, search for, detect, and remove malware from computers or mobile devices, such as tablets and smartphones.

A strong antivirus program will have different layers of defense, from reactive file scanning to complete device scans. Antivirus software typically analyzes incoming files and programs, looking for signature matches against a database of known malware threats. Some antivirus programs also use heuristic detection, which identifies tendencies or patterns in malware code to identify new threats. In either case, to be effective, antivirus programs must update their databases of virus information frequently.

In addition to anti-virus protection, the best security solutions will have other features for MSPs to leverage, such as data loss prevention (DLP), advanced ransomware protection, secure password management, web and email protection, and even a VPN. Some of these solutions will also offer a money-back guarantee for peace of mind.

When choosing an antivirus solution, be sure to look for one that offers a high detection rate in controlled tests. However, keep in mind that detection rates don’t tell the entire story and can sometimes be misleading. A good antivirus product will also have tools to isolate and thoroughly delete identified threats, as well as an option to run regular system updates to stay ahead of the latest malware attacks. Lastly, be wary of alarmist emails that claim to have detected the “worst virus ever” and will destroy your computer unless you pay a ransom.