Antivirus software is used to prevent, detect, and remove malware, including computer viruses, computer worms, trojan horses,spyware and adware.
Computer security and protection from social engineering techniques are offered in products and services of antivirus software companies.
Many strategies are employed to detect malware virus . Signature-based detection involves searching for known patterns of data within an executable code. But, a computer may be infected with new malware for which no signature is available. To counter such so-called zero-day threats, heuristics can be used. One type of heuristic approach, generic signatures, can identify new viruses or variants of existing viruses by looking for known malicious code, or slight variations of such code, in files. Some antivirus software can also predict what a file will do by running it in a sandbox and analyzing what it does to see if it performs any malicious actions.
However, antivirus software can impair a computer’s performance. Improper understanding of the antivirus software may lead to a security breach. If the antivirus software employs heuristic detection, success depends on achieving the right balance between false positives and false negatives.