Installing an antivirus software program and keeping it up-to-date is a critical step in protecting your computer. Many types of antivirus software can detect the presence of malware by searching for patterns in your computer’s files or memory. Antivirus software uses signatures provided by software vendors to identify malware. Vendors frequently create new signatures to ensure their software is effective against newly discovered malware. Many antivirus programs offer automatic updating. If your program has automatic updates, enable them so your software always has the most current signatures. If automatic updates aren’t offered, be sure to install the software from a reputable source, such as the vendor’s website.