Computers are everywhere in our lives. They allow us to play and work, monitor patients in hospitals, and monitor critical manufacturing processes. However, this convenience comes with some drawbacks, since more computers are a bigger threat to malicious coders.

Antivirus protection scans files and programs to identify potential threats. It serves as a real-time shield against cyberattacks. It detects infected files and programs by their telltale signature – a couple of lines of assembly code that overwrite the stack pointer, for instance and compares them to a database of known malware. If the program matches the database, the antivirus software will stop it from running and then move it to quarantine for a thorough analysis and scan.

Unfortunately, malicious software creators are constantly creating new programs that have distinctive and more subtle signatures, which is why antivirus programs must keep updating their databases. Once a virus is identified and added into the detection database hackers will be unable to use the same signature on different machines.

To that end, the most trustworthy antivirus programs come with a number of additional features that help protect against a broader range of malware threats. They include: