Home Technology What is Antivirus? Definition, Types, and Benefits

What is Antivirus? Definition, Types, and Benefits

More than half of the world’s population has access to the Internet, and many of them are very basic users. In such a time, there is major concern about data security, and overall system security, to keep it safe from the bad actors (i mean hackers), who might try to steal our personal information and data or harm our system using some kind of trojans, virus, or worms, etc.

What is Antivirus? Definition, Types, and Benefits

What is Antivirus?

So, it becomes essential for us to use some kind of safeguards in our systems, to be protected from all this clutter. In this context, you might have heard about Antivirus, and that’s what we are going to discuss in this article. We are going to have a quick look at what is Antivirus, and we will try to discuss some different things related to it so that you can become familiar with the topic. So, let’s get into it.

What is a computer Virus?

Well, first of all, if you are someone who is not familiar with the term virus, it would be quite difficult to properly understand the term Antivirus, so let’s go on with a quick discussion about what is a virus first. If you are already familiar with the term, you can happily skip this part, but I would recommend this as a quick read.

So, a computer virus can be considered a kind of malicious program, which can infect your computer or system, corrupt data, or the system, or revoke the user’s access to the system, to get access to some confidential information, leak some private information, and more.
So, to any extent, computer virus is not good at all, and you need to protect your system from these viruses thing, and this is where the Anti-Virus thing comes into the picture, and now it’s time to discuss Antivirus.

What is Antivirus?

So now, that you are familiar with the term Virus, let’s turn towards discussing antivirus, which is the term of our interest right now. So, Antivirus Software, or an Antivirus program is a program, which is designed for the prevention, detection, and removal of viruses and other types of Malware from your computer, or your system.

You may find it coming along with the security software package, or when you are purchasing some system, you can also buy it as a standalone product, as there are many companies providing antivirus solutions for a variety of devices.

For most of the antivirus programs, when it is installed on your system, it automatically runs in the background, providing real-time protection against most of the virus attacks on our system. Many times, when we are on the internet doing stuff, we don’t realize doing a wrong redirection, or clicking a wrong link, which may lead to the download of some unwanted stuff in our system, and this can be where things may go wrong.

So, Antivirus can help prevent this kind of thing, like it would directly block some installers, or block some links that it thinks may cause potential damage. So, it can be very handy to have an antivirus program installed on our device.

Common Types of Cyber Threats

You might be familiar with the fact that nowadays, it’s possible to connect other home appliances to the internet, for better connectivity and services, also, more and more people are getting access to the internet, than ever before. But this is also resulting in the rise of cyber crimes. There are some commonly occurring Cyber threats that you or some other people might experience at some point. This section talks about some common types of cyber threats. Here are some of the types of the Cyber threats that we are going to discuss about.

Cyber Threat Description
Malware Malicious software aims to disrupt, damage, or access systems, including viruses, worms, trojans, and spyware.
Ransomware Encrypts files, demanding payment for decryption, denying access to data until a ransom is paid, often in cryptocurrency.
Phishing Deceptive tactics via emails, messages, or websites to extract sensitive information like passwords or financial details.
IoT Based Attacks Target vulnerabilities in IoT devices to control them, disrupt operations, or access sensitive data.

So, let now discuss some of these attacks one by one –


I’m not sure if you are familiar with this term, but simply speaking, Malware, or Malicious Software, is some kind of program created with the intent of harming the system, network, server, or data. This is a very commonly occurring type of cyber attack and is a broader term, which covers many different attacks, like Ransomware, keyloggers, worms, etc.


Reading through malware, you are already familiar with the fact that Ransomware is a type of Malware. So, the actual thing is that in the case of ransomware, the data is encrypted by the attacker, and it offers the decryption key in exchange for a payment, called Ransom.


Well, phishing is another common type of attack which is usually done through emails, SMS, or Social Media in general, and tries to make victims fall off entering their sensitive information, like account credentials, or account numbers. For example, you may get an email that appears from Microsoft, but it’s actually from rnicrosoft, which may trick you into entering your credentials, or some site like instagarm.com may trick you into entering your credentials.

This is usually done to trick people into getting their credentials or asking users to download some malicious file into the system.

IoT based attacks

IoT-based attack refers to the kind of attack, which usually targets an IoT device or some network. Once the device is compromised, the attacker has full control of the device. Since the usage of IoT devices in homes, and organizations is growing day by day, the possibility of these threats occurring also increases, but at the same time, people are working to mitigate the issues which are arising.

There are even more types of cyber threats that occur at a regular level, but here, we have talked about some really basic and common types of cyber threats. You can even explore more about this.

How does an Antivirus work?

Without touching deep details of how Antivirus works, we will try to explain how an Antivirus works. Understand this as if it compares your computer files to a database of already known malware kinds. They also check the systems if any new or undiscovered malware is in the system.

Think of it like every file going in and out of your computer is checked and compared with its database, to identify the matches with malware. The things that are matched to the database are quarantined and eliminated.

Benefits of having an Antivirus Software

You might have heard that “Prevention is better than cure”, so that’s what mainly happens when you are using some kind of Antivirus software in your system. So whether you are working in some organization, or have a computer system of your own, it is recommended to have Antivirus software in your system. Let’s try to quickly mention some potential benefits of having an Antivirus system.

  • Removal, detection, and prevention of viruses, and other malware in the system.
  • Prevention from unknown downloads
  • Getting warnings about malicious websites or links before we click over them.
  • Keeping the online accounts safe.
  • Regular scanning of files to identify and quarantine the threat files.

As you can see, there are numerous benefits of having an antivirus in your system. It would certainly help you mitigate the risks of most of the virus files, and threats.

How to choose a good antivirus?

Well, sorry if this reading has caused you any goosebumps, but I just intended to make you aware of the things that are going on or may happen to people over the internet. But the question now is how can we choose a good antivirus? Well, it’s relative to what you need. You may need total fire protection, or you may need internet protection or more.

Depending on what you need, the antivirus that you may use can be different. Sometimes people say that Linux systems don’t get viruses, or mobile systems don’t get viruses, but that’s not true. Some viruses may enter and infect these systems.

By the way, there are many different good antivirus programs that you can use to secure your systems. But here are some of the points, which may help you find a better antivirus for you.

  • Make sure that the antivirus guards against threats like viruses, malware, and phishing.
  • It should be compatible with your Operating system.
  • Shouldn’t impact your system. Some antivirus makes the system slower.
  • If there are some additional features like VPN or something beneficial for you, then it’s even better.
  • It should get regular updates.

So, these were some points which I hope would help you in choosing an ideal antivirus. Other than this, according to your needs, you may append some more points to the above-presented set of points.


So, here we discussed what is Antivirus. Simply speaking, antivirus can be considered as a software program, which is designed to prevent, detect, and remove viruses from your system. It is very important whether you are an individual, or an organization, because in the end, if the system is compromised, it may lead to bad causes at any level, and you may not want that.

Also, we discussed in short how Antivirus works, or how to choose a good antivirus, and we talked about some common cyber threats. Considering this as a standpoint, you can explore more about antivirus.

FAQs related to What is Antivirus?

Q: What is Virus?

Ans: A virus can be considered as a program, which can infect your computer or system, corrupt data, or the system, or gain unauthorized access to the system.

Q: What is an Antivirus?

Ans: Antivirus is software that is designed to prevent, detect, and remove viruses and other kinds of malware from the system.

Q: Is it okay to not have an Antivirus?

Ans: Yes it is perfectly fine if you don’t have an antivirus in your system, but if you are someone who frequently goes to the internet, getting a flood of emails, you might want to keep an antivirus in your system, so that you can have a guard which tries to prevent the virus from entering your system.

Q: What is an example of an Antivirus?

Ans: There are many antivirus products available, but some notable companies include Norton, McAfee, and more.


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