Antivirus software helps keep your computer secure from malware, phishing scams, and other malicious files that can steal information or cause slowdowns. These programs look for threats and eliminate them if identified. Some also offer additional security features, like the fire wall to prevent network attack. Some are free, whereas others require a monthly fee to be fully protected.

When selecting an antivirus program be sure to choose a software which uses a limited amount of system resources so it doesn’t slow down your computer when the scanning process or other activities. Searching in the program’s search function to find user reviews can help you determine which ones are efficient and do not consume too much memory, disk space, or other resources.

The best antivirus programs will detect viruses quickly and efficiently. They may employ a combination of techniques, including specific detection that searches for known viruses; generic detection, which can here identify certain types of malware and heuristic analysis, which examines behavior to identify suspicious patterns. Once an infection has been identified it will be isolated by the program the program or file from other files and programs, block access, and remove it. Some programs might show an alert to indicate that the threat has been removed or identified.

Anyone looking for the best and most secure antivirus program should look into one with additional protections, such as firewalls, a cloud-based scanner, parental controls and ransomware defense. Other features include a free trial or money-back assurance, compatibility with multiple devices regular updates, and customer support.