This article has been updated with new data. It was originally published in June 2010.
Antivirus programs not only provide manageable security, but also have preferences that enable you to automatically or manually delete viruses on your computer. Say you’re browsing the internet and you download a video. When your antivirus software detects it as a threat, an alert will come your way with two options: delete or quarantine.
What is Quarantine?
When an antivirus program scans your computer, it moves infected files from their original location into quarantine so that they can no longer run. While a quarantined virus is harmless, it is still on your computer until you permanently delete it.
Updating Anti-Virus Settings
One benefit of having an antivirus software is that you can set preferences. For instance, you can request to receive an alert when a virus is detected so you have the convenient option to kill the virus right then and there. If you choose to quarantine a file and all your programs seem to run fine, go ahead and delete that virus!
Keep in mind that antivirus programs can occasionally flag files that look like virus carriers. If you haven’t set up preferences to automatically delete viruses, these false alarms can break an existing program or remove something of importance to your business. Be sure to update the program settings so that you have a choice in the matter.
What to do with Quarantined Files
If a program won’t run because a file is in quarantine, use your discretion before restoring it or adding it to exceptions. Read up about the suspected virus and see if it makes sense to permanently delete or restore the file. Usually, you can send that file to the support team behind your antivirus so they can check it out. If it is a false alarm, they can teach their antivirus program to recognize it.
Antivirus programs are a step in the right direction, but if your company does not have the in-house resources to manage a fast-paced cyber-attack, outsourcing security services is the next best thing. By placing security in the hands of a highly skilled team, you not only mitigate risk, but also gain access to specialized security professionals for fraction of the cost of hiring full-time staff.
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