What Does Antivirus Software Do & Why Is It Important?

a computer screen showing a virus alert message
Published on Aug 05, 2022
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A computer or laptop is a big investment so it is important to make sure that you have it protected both physically and internally. 

This is especially important if you use your device for business! The best way to protect your computer’s internal servers is to install reliable antivirus software.

 Although the upfront cost of malware prevention can be quite high, in the long run, it is certainly worth it. 

What is Antivirus Software?

So you may be thinking, what exactly is antivirus software? Antivirus software is a set of programmes that are specifically designed to prevent, detect and remove malware. Malware, the coined term ‘malicious software’ is software that has been designed to gain unauthorised access to a computer's system, and cause disruption and damage.

Antivirus programmes such as Norton work by evaluating data across websites and files to help seek out any possible malware as quickly as possible and eradicate it. Threats can come at any time, so antivirus software runs constantly in the background, ready to protect you from any incoming danger and block and delete malicious content. 

Malware is pretty complex and presents itself in multiple ways, meaning antivirus software has to be robust to scan and find any issues. A virus-containing file will often be quarantined by the application and/or marked for deletion when it is discovered, rendering it unavailable and reducing the risk to your device. 

Why Is Antivirus Software So Important?

The importance of antivirus software lies in the fact that it is the only way to protect yourself and your device from impending viruses. Think of your antivirus software as the bouncer on the doors of your home, only letting through those that are safe. 

If you run your business from your computer, you run the risk of a virus exposing personal client data, or even sending unwanted emails to your contact book, to spread the virus even further. Not only is this unprofessional, but you could also put other businesses at risk, not a good look! We recommend taking a look at providers such as BitDefender who can help protect all your data. 

Protection from Viruses

So, what exactly is a virus? A computer virus is designed to spread like wildfire across a computer's system, and cause destruction. It can alter the way your computer runs, by attaching itself to a host file or program, and once you have opened the infected file, it is released to bind itself to further files. 

It can also go on to infect other computers running on the same network. As you can imagine, this happening in the workplace would result in total chaos, running the risk of losing everything and all computers becoming damaged internally! Antivirus software from providers such as Avast can protect your business and equipment.

Defence Against Hackers

Hackers use malware to gain access to everything that is stored on your computer or laptop. Not only is this a security risk, as personal data is compromised, but if you have paid out for any expensive applications or games, these will also be under threat. 

By purchasing an anti-virus package from a reputable provider such as McAfee, you are ensuring your purchases are safely protected, and won't become corrupted or deleted.

Protect Your Personal Data

Your personal data is some of the most important data you hold. It includes all the information that you ever enter into your PC, including credit card details and national insurance numbers to mention a few. 

These sorts of details being leaked put you at risk of credit card fraud, and even identity fraud if they gain enough access. If this isn’t enough reason to invest in some antivirus software from Malwarebytes, we’re not sure what is!

Block Spam & Unwanted Ads

Malware doesn’t just attack your personal data and files, it is also responsible for those pesky pop-ups. If your computer is infected with a virus, and you don’t have adequate protection, there’s not much you can do to get rid of this spam. 

It’s important to remember that any pop-up ads you see come across your computer are actually the most popular way that a virus can infect your computer. Trying to grasp your attention to get you to click, make it a really easy way to gain access and infect your computer. Effective anti-virus software from a provider such as Kaspersky will block and stop any of these even infiltrating your computer, acting as the first line of defence.

Shop Online Safely

As we all take the turn to spend more money online, it’s important for you to also be protected whilst online shopping. Viruses can copy all of the data that you type in, meaning if you’re typing in your card details, a hacker can clone these and commit fraud. 

There are also scam sites out there, that pay to get higher on Google ranking in the hope that you click them in your online search for your next purchase. Anti-virus protection from Webroot works quickly to alert you to these sites when you click on them, helping you to avoid being scammed!


Charlotte Marshall

Lead Editor

Being a full-time content writer and part-time shopaholic, globe-trotter and avid lover of all things food (and wine)...I love researching the best money-saving hacks so that I can help fuel my own passions, and yours!


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