Wouldn’t it be nice if all of those people who write and propagate computer viruses found another, more innocuous hobby?
We all know that a computer virus, like a biological virus, can spread rapidly and contaminate normal files and documents. A virus can cause a variety of problems from distorting data within to making a file virtually impossible to open. Fortunately, most antivirus programs contain the ability to fix infected files by neutralizing and removing the malicious code and returning the file to its uninfected state. Thus, the antivirus program has “repaired” the file or document.
New viruses emerge suddenly and spread amazingly fast through the Internet and email, so antivirus programs have to be vigilant for unanticipated threats. Many programs include a quarantine feature. This allows them to automatically isolate any file that shows the same characteristics as a virus based on the antivirus program’s own database of such behavior. >>
The quarantined files are set aside in a kind of electronic holding pen where they cannot be started or opened. You can usually view quarantined files and remove them from the quarantine area if you choose to. Your antivirus program may also have the ability to send any suspect files to the research department of antivirus program’s maker for further examination.
Remember: to be able to recognize new viruses as they come along you've got to constantly update your antivirus program. An old antivirus program is a useless antivirus program!