Most softwares include both automatic and manual scanning capabilities. The automatic scan may check files that are downloaded from the Internet, discs that are inserted into the computer, and records that are created by software installers.
The automatic scan may also scan the entire hard drive on a regular basis. The manual scan option allows you to scan individual files or your entire system whenever you feel it is necessary.
Since computer hackers are always creating new viruses, antivirus programs must keep an updated database of virus types. This database includes a list of “virus definitions” that the antivirus software references when scanning files.
While these programs are available for Windows, Macintosh, and Unix platforms, most of the soft wares are sold for Windows systems. This is because most viruses are targeted towards Windows computers and therefore virus protection is especially important for Windows users.
If you are a Windows user, it is smart to have at least one antivirussoftware installed on your computer. Examples of standard programs include Norton Antivirus, Kaspersky Anti-Virus, and ZoneAlarm Antivirus.