The virus is capable of causing serious damage to your system and computer. They can steal your personal information, corrupt your files, and even cause you lose data. This could lead to identity theft, financial fraud, and frauds that involve phishing.

How does antivirus software identify potential viruses? Antivirus software scans incoming files and code and comparing them to a database of known malware. These databases are constantly updated making it possible for antivirus software to recognize new threats swiftly.

The most popular method by which an antivirus program can identify the presence of a virus is by looking at its digital fingerprint or signature. Each virus has its own unique fingerprint that differentiates it from other programs and files. The signature is created when certain parts of the code of the virus are compared with the database of malware that is known to be infected and if a match is detected, it is flagged. Antivirus scanners may also use heuristic analysis to determine the behavior or characteristics of an individual file. It will examine patterns or trends of a file which could suggest it’s a virus, for example, deleting large quantities of data, monitoring constrained keys or remotely connecting to equipment.

In addition to heuristic and signature-based detection, some antivirus programs will employ sandboxing. Sandboxing allows viruses to run in a virtual space and observe how it behaves so that the scanner can determine if it is performing what it is supposed to do. If it is found that a virus has been identified and quarantined, it will be removed immediately and deleted from the system.