Getting connected online can expose your computer to a host of computer viruses of all kinds. If your computer does not possess any antivirus software, the vulnerability of your personal computer to get infected by viruses, worms and other types of malicious codes increase significantly. These mentioned threats, collectively known as malware, are digitally created so as to slow down your internet network access, to gain access to your personal information or sensitive files and to cause serious damage to your computer.

Hence, antivirus software is essential. It plays an important role in enhancing your computer security so that your personal files and vital documents are protected from getting damaged or lost forever. Absolutely, all computers should be equipped with antivirus software to allow you to have a safe and uninterrupted web connection. As with any system, prevention is the key. By installing antivirus software, you have put up an anti-malware program that can stop, block or defend your computer from malware before it can enter your system.

In a computer, it is only best to run only one anti-virus program. If you think that running two or more will gain you better protection from outside threats, it is not the case. Instead, it can result in program conflicts as one program recognizes the other anti-virus software as a threat and can cause false virus alerts. Moreover, having multiple anti-virus programs active in memory uses additional resources that can slow your system down.

If you don’t have any anti-virus software yet in your computer, there are two ways you can get it. One is to purchase it online or from a computer store and the other is to download free software from many online sites. Some of the well-know names in anti-virus software include Norton, McAffee, BitDefender, Kaspersky, Avira, Avast, TrendMicro, Panda, Webroot, AVG, ZoneAlarm and Microsoft Security Essentials.

Whether you prefer commercial or free antivirus apps, it is important that you keep your program up-to-date. New threats are being developed every day. So, it is important that you update your anti-virus software on a constant basis. Usually, these are done automatically on a weekly basis or there can be pop-up prompts from your anti-virus program that lets you know new virus definition updates are available.

Anti-virus programs use two main techniques in detecting malware. One is by comparing signatures of malware from their built-in database or master file of know malicious software. The other is by identifying the virus based on a known behavior, known as the heuristic detection.