Do you know if your anti-virus solution is working? You could try to test your anti-virus program against the EICAR (European Expert Group for IT-Security) test file to see if it reacts the way it should.
All you need to do is create the testfile and scan it with your virus scanner. If the scanner detects something it is working as intended, if it does not you should consider changing immediately to a more reliable one.
Creating the file is pretty simple. Just create a new text file and paste the following line of code into it:
Save the file and rename it to test.com. When executed it displays the message EICAR-STANDARD-ANTIVIRUS-TEST-FILE. No harm will be done to your system if you accidentally execute the file. To test your virus scanner right-click the file and select the scan option of your antivirus solution. You can alternatively scan it from the interface of it as well.
You could also pack it and test it or send it to your email account to test the interaction between virus scanner and email client.
After the test finishes you do know if your virus scanner is working as intended and able to detect viruses on your system. This does not necessarily mean that it will detect other viruses that exist but it means that it is working and protecting your system.
There is obviously also the option to simply execute the file to see if the antivirus software blocks the execution, or if the file slips past it.
While this single test can show you if your antivirus software lacks the proper technology to block simple malware, it can't be used to determine whether an antivirus program is best suitable for you. Most modern antivirus applications should catch the file and block it from executing, and it takes more because of this to come to a conclusion about the effectiveness of a software. One option that you have is to visit websites that test antivirus software regularly, like AV Comparatives for instance.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.