We put together a list of frequently asked questions and answers to help you make informed decisions before selecting an antivirus. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, send us a message using the contact form below.
What is a computer virus?
Viruses are a type of malware (malicious software) that is capable of spreading to other computer files, programs and systems with the intent to do damage. A virus is designed to replicate itself by modifying existing programs and files on your machine and inserting its own code.
How does antivirus software detect viruses?
The leading antivirus providers rely on cloud-based databases that store known signatures and code for existing viruses. These databases are updated whenever new threats are discovered, making sure no new viruses go undetected on your machine. Antivirus software will scan your files for traces of all known virus signatures and flag anything that may do harm to your machine.
What is malware?
Malware (malicious software) is a blanket term that covers all the various types of software that are built with the purpose of doing harm to your personal files. Types of malware include viruses, adware, ransomware, bots, rootkits, spyware, worms and Trojan horses.
Should I delete old antivirus software before switching vendors?
Yes, this is recommended. Oftentimes, one product will detect another product’s database of virus signatures as an actual virus on your machine. This is bound to cause issues, so it is best to make sure you have properly uninstalled your old software before trying out something new.
Does antivirus software slow your computer down?
Anytime you run a program on your computer, this uses up some of the machine’s processing power. The CPU (central processing unit) on modern machines is designed to handle a lot simultaneously. Typically, you can run multiple programs without noticing a difference in the computer’s performance. Keep in mind that some antivirus products are more efficient than others. If you are most concerned about computer speed while the antivirus software is running, be sure to check out the reviews for each product. You can easily compare the data and make sure you are getting the product that is right for you.
What happens when antivirus software detects a virus?
This process is generally very straightforward. Most antivirus software will “quarantine” the problematic files and then offer the option to delete them. This will prevent the virus from infecting other files on your computer. In some cases, when a virus has already infected your personal files, the antivirus software may be able to clean the files without deleting them.