Even if you are running security software that gets regularly updated by its development company, you run the risk of falling prey to dangers that lurk behind every corner on the Internet. That's why I use third party software to scan systems that I own or administrate to make sure that nothing slipped by the first line of defense.
One of the programs that I really like to use for that job is Dr.Web CureIt!, a free security program that is highly efficient in this regard. Other programs include Kaspersky's TDSS Killer, and a bunch of other programs that you find listed here.
Kaspersky Security Scan is a free program that is making use of Kaspersky's commercial antivirus engine to scan a system for threats that other security software on the system may have missed. You can run a quick scan which will only check the most important locations and files, or a full scan which is more thorough but will also take longer to complete.
The program displays some fancy graphics and a progress bar once you have made the selection. It does not provide you with a time estimate on how long the scan will take to complete. If it finds problems it will indicate those in red in the interface and on the summary page once the scan has completed.
When you click on the results for more information they are displayed on a local web page in the default system browser. Here you find all issues listed sorted in the following four categories:
What you may not like is that Kaspersky's Security Scan does not ship with the tools to resolve the issues found. This is similar to how Norton's Security Scan works, which is also only highlighting that there are issues.
Still, if you know that problems exist, you can use free third party software to resolve them on the PC. The six issues found on the test system were relatively harmless, and mostly dealt with issues in Microsoft's Internet Explorer. Security Scan for instance complained that the cache was not cleaned on browser exit, and that the sending of error reports was not disabled.
The second issue that some of you may have with Kaspersky's Security Scan is that it will download a 42 Megabyte file when you first start it on the system.
The program has its uses, even though it is only good for getting a second opinion on a system's state of security. Companies like Kaspersky or Symantec use these kind of tools as advertisement to sell their core security products to users who identify issues or threats on their PC systems.
I personally would suggest to run those, but use free software instead to resolve the issues that were found.
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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.