antivirus software definition

This definition is part of our Essential Guide: Secure Web gateways, from evaluation to sealed deal
Contributor(s): Jerry Harris

Antivirus (anti-virus) software is a class of program that will prevent, detect and remediate malware infections on individual computing devices and IT systems.

The label "antivirus" was originally given to programs that identified and removed a particular type of malware called a virus. Today, however, antivirus programs are useful for preventing infections caused by many types of malware, including worms, Trojan horses, rootkits, spyware, keyloggers, ransomware and adware

In marketing, the terms antivirus and antimalware are often used as synonyms. 

 

This was first published in September 2005

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