How to check if your virus scanner is working

In this day and age when most of our home computers are always connected to the internet, the importance of good virus scanning software can not be over emphasized. Most of us do have the virus scanners installed, but most of us also take them for granted. When was the last time when you actually went into your virus scanning software and checked if everything is hunky dory? Do you even know if it’s doing its job? You can create a test virus too and see if your virus scanner catches it

Don't rely just on the fact that your system tray as a virus shield icon and you are protected. Did you know that you can download a test virus and try and see if your virus scanner catches it in an email or during file access? Don't worry; the virus is not harmful at all. Complete instructions on how to create the test EICAR virus can be found here, you do not need any programming skills either, just notepad or any other text editing program!
Most of us setup an initial schedule to download virus definitions and then forget about the software, set it and forget it way. However, it’s often found that the virus scanner is not working properly. Sometimes, the virus scanner would find a virus, but because it does not know how to cure it, it would leave it "as is" although it might prevent your accessing it. However, a virus sitting in your quarantine, or just being "left alone" could be as dangerous. Users should run regular scans, and check the logs routinely to see if anything is being caught. The scans can be set to "lower processor priority" on most decent anti virus software programs so that they don't hog your CPU. Make sure you clear your quarantine check regularly; else you might keep getting alarms during subsequent scans. For more robust third party options, you can check out an article we did earlier regarding Microsoft’s online virus scan at