Antivirus software is a form of software that protects computers from malware infection. This includes viruses and Trojans as well as adware rootkits, spyware and worms. It can also assist in detecting and repair the damage caused by these threats.

Antivirus software is a vital tool in protecting any device, including a mobile or computer. They can help prevent attacks by hackers, as well as detect and eliminate phishing attacks ransomware and spam emails. They can also monitor and safeguard connected devices such as cameras, printers, SmartTVs and other appliances from malware-related infections too.

When choosing an antivirus software, look for one that has a long history of passing multiple tests and getting good reviews from independent labs. Virus Bulletin and TechRadar are among the organizations that run tests and review antivirus programs. They will let you know what security features they provide and how well the software performs, and if it’s worth the money.

Traditional antivirus software relies on the signature or binary pattern of a virus to identify it. However, hackers have kept up with this by introducing polymorphic and oligomorphic viruses which can encrypt a portion of themselves or alter their appearance in order to not be able to match the signatures of viruses that are stored in antivirus databases. Sandbox analysis is a feature used by newer antivirus software to combat these sophisticated malware threats. The program executes the file inside an environment virtual to determine how it behaves.