How Does McAfee Antivirus Software Work?

By Lucosi Fuller

The Virus Database

McAfee Antivirus software works to block viruses from entering your computer system and kill or quarantine viruses that have some broken through the firewall.To begin protecting your computer system, McAfee Antivirus software updates its virus database by using an automatic web crawler that scans the Internet and identifies malicious software by name, type and destructive capability. With that information, the software also scans for the way to delete the malicious software. Once the scan is complete, the program is prepared to impede the entry of malware on a computer system or destroy it, if it is already on the system.

The Firewall

Once the virus database is updated, McAfee Antivirus software strengthens a computer's firewall. Some antivirus software isn't equipped to keep out all threats---especially new and complex threats---because all software doesn't perform a search that is thorough enough to identify and handle the Internet's new threats. This is not the case with McAfee Antivirus software, and this is also why the firewall is nearly impenatrable. Nothing can enter your computer system without you letting it in, and a warning is issued whenever there is a perceived threat. The firewall on some versions of McAfee even extends to the Internet, so you are notified about harmful websites while you surf the web. If, by accident, you allow a virus or a worm past the firewall and into your system by downloading an infected program or opening a corrupted email attachment, the last line of defense is the virus scan tool, which finds and kills or contains malware for manual deletion.

The Virus Scan Utility

The virus scan utility searches every file on your computer system for malware and compiles a list of malicious software that you can delete at the end of the scan. Most antivirus software has this utility, but as mentioned in the previous sections, the scans performed by other software are only as effective as their virus databases allow them to be. The depth of McAfee Antivirus's database permits the program to detect and eliminate most threats quickly with a thorough scan. With each of the tools that McAfee Antivirus software has at its disposal, your computer should always be malware-proof.

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