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A quarantine is the process of isolating a file suspected of being infected with a virus to a specific area of a storage device in order to prevent it from contaminating other files. The quarantine process is used when anti-virus software detects a problem and is unable to eliminate it with its current protocols, or when it is unsure whether or not the file is a known virus. If the user suspects that a file is infected but the virus is not detected by the software, he or she can enable the quarantine manually.
Anti-virus software often resorts to using a quarantine when it is unable to clean an infected file. Once the virus or file has been quarantined, it cannot interact with the system. It is advisable to delete suspected quarantined files as soon as possible.
There are anti-virus programs that automatically send a sample of the quarantined file through the Internet to be analyzed. The center that analyzes the sample then sends back a report regarding the detected threat. If it is a new virus, the center also creates and sends out an updated virus definition setting in order to eliminate the threat to the user’s computer or personal device.