Your antivirus is used to prevent, detect and delete viruses, worms and trojans. They can also detect and delete adware, spyware and other forms of viruses.
There are many strategies used to detect viruses.
Searching for signatures is one way to detect viruses based on their structure. But viruses are constantly developed and there may be cases when a virus is too new and there isn’t a signature for it. To prevent this zero-day threats, antiviruses use a heuristic search. This search is based on generic signatures. Some antiviruses can anticipate what a file can do if it’s opened and prevent it from opening, if it is a threat for your computer.
But there are a lot of disadvantages for some antiviruses. They can alter the performance of your computer, if this isn’t a new one. Also some users may have problems deciding on the actions of the antivirus in case it asks them what to do.
In one case, an error in the signature update of Symantec caused the antivirus to delete some important files from the operating system.
Conclusion: even with the best antivirus out there you can’t be sure you’re 100% protected.
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