Antivirus software protects your computer from malware, phishing scams, and other malicious files that can steal information or slow down your computer. The programs scan for malware and eliminate them if identified. Some also offer additional security features, like a fire wall that can help keep your computer safe from attacks by networks. Some are free, and others require a monthly subscription fee for complete protection.

When selecting antivirus software make sure you select a program that requires minimal system resources to ensure it does not cause slowdowns to your computer while performing virus scans or other operations. You can use the search function of the program to find reviews from other users. This will let you know whether a particular program is effective and doesn’t consume too much memory and space on your hard drive or other resources.

The most effective antivirus software will detect viruses with accuracy and speed. They can use a combination of methods, including specific detection that searches for known viruses; generic detection, which can identify parts or types of malware; and heuristic detection, which examines behavior to identify suspicious patterns. When a virus is detected it will be isolated by the program it from other files or programs and block access to it, and then delete it. Some programs will show an alert to indicate that the threat has been removed or identified.

If you’re looking for the most secure antivirus program should consider one that comes with additional security features like firewalls, cloud-based scanner, parental controls, and ransomware protection. Other features include a free trial or money-back guarantee, compatibility with a variety of devices frequently updated and customer assistance.