Check if your PC is protected from malware and viruses

Secure PC
To effectively combat computer viruses it is necessary to have an active virus protection program and keep programs and operating systems up to date.Unfortunately, these tips are not always enough to stop the most powerful malware: there are in fact many settings and programs that can leave vulnerabilities open on the PC and make it vulnerable to malware and virus attacks of all kinds and kinds.

In the guide that follows we will show you how to check if your computer is properly protected from modern malware attacks, using automatic and easy-to-launch controls on any type of computer or notebook for the purpose.

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Create a mock test virus

Without infecting your computer, risking making it unusable and damaging the system, you can create a small and harmless virus by simulating the fake presence of malware created by European Institute for Computer Antivirus Research (EICAR).

Virtually all anti-virus programs recognize this small file created by EICAR as a virus (even if it really isn’t). The file does nothing but display the word “EICAR-STANDARD-ANTIVIRUS-TEST-FILE!” on the screen and does so only if it is not blocked by antivirus.

Without downloading anything we can create the EICAR test virus opening an empty text file with Windows notepad and pasting the following line:

X5O!P%@AP[4\PZX54(P^)7CC)7}$EICAR-STANDARD-ANTIVIRUS-TEST-FILE!$H+H*

Now we close the notepad and save the file with the name, giving it the name eicar.com. If there is a working antivirus on the computer with real-time checking we should receive a warning before the script can be executed.

To do other tests, you can send the file to yourself via Email and try to open it to test the ability of the antivirus to also catch attachments and files downloaded from the internet. Keep in mind that this is a rather old test so, before closing everything and rest assured, also check that the antivirus is and remains up to date.

In case the fake EICAR virus is not detected consider that not all antivirus supports this test so some may ignore it (because in fact, it is not a virus but a completely harmless little test script).

Use the Malware Prevention Tool

Microsoft provides all Windows users with one malware prevention tool, which checks that the security settings of the Windows computer are correctly configured and also cleans any viruses and malware that escaped the antivirus active at that time; a good strategy to keep your PC clean requires downloading this tool every month, using Windows Update (where it is included if we use Windows Defender) or manually downloading the scan tool.

Microsoft also provides a program called Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer. After downloading and installing it from the Microsoft site, you can go to the program list in the Start or Start menu and start it. The first screen asks you to identify the computer by name or IP address or, if you want to control more computers, by writing the range of addresses to be scanned.

Use the Nessus Professional program

A more effective and powerful test to see if your computer is well protected from external intrusions, malware, and viruses is obtained by checking with the free program Nessus which detects PC safety and security issues providing any countermeasures to be taken.

The trial version of the program is available for 7 days, more than enough to scan your PC for undiscovered vulnerabilities or weaknesses that can be exploited by malware or unscrupulous hackers. Since the program is only available as a trial, it is advisable to test it only if we really need to test our computer.

Use the OPSWAT Client program

The OPSWAT program allows you to check for security vulnerabilities in programs and on Windows as we have seen in the article indicated.

Running the scan with OPSWAT Client is possible to obtain accurate information about known computer vulnerabilities including a list of outdated programs, Windows features to enable (or disable), and much more.

Use ESET Online scanner

As a final proof of the effectiveness of the antivirus and security systems used so far, we can launch a scan with the ESET Online scanner probably one of the best on-demand scanners available for free on the market.

After downloading the installer, let’s start it, allow access to the Internet and start the total system scan; if any virus or malware is detected our security configuration is weak or insufficient to block all threats.

In this scenario, it is advisable to analyze all the security programs used and, if necessary, replace them with premium security suites (with a free trial) or with free security suites.

Conclusions

By performing all the steps described in the guide we will be able to check if your PC is protected from malware and viruses, avoiding the most serious infections and the most sophisticated hacker attacks. Of course, even the most advanced security setup isn’t immune to attack, but it at least makes it more difficult to lose personal data or block the proper functioning of the system.

To learn more we can read our guides to the best combination of programs to protect your computer and the best sites with free online virus scanners.

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