The prevention, detection, and removal of malware (like computer viruses for example) is the job of an antivirus program. Antivirus software also assists in preventing and removing adware, spyware, and other forms of malware.
A variety of strategies are typically employed in the programming of antivirus software. The signature-based detection attribute of the antivirus software involves searching for known malicious patterns in executable code. However, it is possible for a computer to become infected with new malware for which no antivirus signature yet exists. Heuristics can be used effectively to counter such so called zero-day menaces. The most common sort of heuristic approach, generic signatures, is capable of identifying new viruses or variants of existing viruses, looking for known malicious code in files. Some antivirus software includes this advanced ability of predicting what a file will do if opened/run by any of the applications on your computer. It can also commonly and analyse the consequences thereby informing the user beforehand of its malicious actions.
Tips for Virus Detection and Prevention
Do not open any files attached to any emails which are from unknown, suspicious or untrustworthy sources.
Do not open any files attached to an email unless you are sure of what it is, even if you have received it from a friend or someone you know. Some viruses can send themselves through email. Confirm that your contact has really sent an attachment before opening the attachment.
Do not open any files attached to an email if the subject line is suspicious or unexpected.
Delete chain emails and junk email. Do not forward or reply to any sort of questionable mail. These types of email are considered spam and are unsolicited mails sent with an intention of compromising the security of your system.
You should be very cautious while downloading files from the Internet. Ensure that the source is a legitimate and reputable one. Make sure that an anti-virus program checks the files on the download site.
Reliable Antivirus Software
Much of the updated Antivirus software available on the market these days commonly contain all the properties that you would expect in a professional antivirus program. They are very easy to use and normally offer a nice simple user interface. They often include a simplified interface which are ideal for beginners but also offer the more advanced features professionals need.
Protecting your computer against viruses not only saves your computer from the potential harm that can be caused by these viruses but can also save you time and money in costly computer repairs.