As everyone knows that computer virus is malicious code, which is written for performing any type of task which is not legitimate. It spreads by copying itself to another program, computer boot sector or document. The opening of an email attachment, clicking on an executable file or viewing an infected website advertisement can also help the virus to spread. Infected removable storage device like USB drive is another medium by which virus spread itself.
Once a virus has infected a computer, it can infect other system resources, modify/disable applications. It can copy, delete or encrypt data. Some viruses begin replicating as soon as they infect the host computer, while some other viruses get sleepy until a specific trigger causes malicious code to be executed by the device or system.
To get rid of this problem, antivirus programs were developed. These programs normally give three options on finding a virus: clean, quarantine, and delete.
While deleting and cleaning may give the same meaning, but they are not same. The deletion means the removal of the file while the cleaning just tries to clean the infected data from the file. Quarantine method just stores it safely until the user takes any action.
This looks very confusing. So, continue to read to get the real differences,
It is better to check the importance of the affected file. If the user does not require the file anymore or has already a backup of that file then he can just delete it. However, once deleted, the file will be removed from the computer and you can never use it.
If the user needs the file later, or he does not have a second copy or backup of that file then just clean the infected part and keep it.
Quarantine the file means that the file is moved to a safer isolated place to isolate them from the rest of operating system. Even though that file is virus infected file, however, it cannot do any damage to the operating system. Many times an anti-virus software detect a false positive and move it to quarantine. In such case, a user can restore that file back.
How to Choose Between the Three Options:
It is not always that the user can recognize the infection. If it is a virus, the infection can be cleaned. Therefore, it is better to start with scanning. If the result says that it cannot be cleaned, then quarantine it. It gives time to examine it and decide later. Deletion is the last option when the user is left with no other option.
It will be better to check whether the antivirus software is providing the level of protection your organization requires. Also whatever option you choose, whether clean, delete or quarantine, be assured that virus will not affect your system anymore.