Online Virus Scan
And Protection

Windweaver Internet Training Articles
copyright 2006 by Tracy Marks

Online Virus Scan and Protection

Reviews of Free Online Antivirus Programs
Scan and Protect Your Files, Remove Viruses

Because of the thousands of viruses and worms being spread around the Net, we all need to have effective anti virus software which we update frequently and set to automatically scan our computers, downloaded files and email. But if we neglect protecting our computers or fear that our current anti virus software has missed diagnosing and removing a new virus, all is not lost while we wait to purchase, install and/or update our anti virus protection.

A number of free online antivirus programs can easily scan our computers, or just specific files. Some are actually virus protectors and removers, and can actually clean infected files and remove the virus.

Be wary however of popup messages which appear when you are browsing and ask you if you want to quickly check your computer for viruses and spyware. Some will  illegally diagnose you with specific viruses or dangerous installations of spyware, and scare you into purchasing your product to rid of an imaginary threat.

The table which follows describes BitDefender, Trend Micro and Panda which will both scan and clean your files for free. F-Secure, Norton Symantec, McAfee and Freedom have online virus protector which will scan and diagnose but not clean or remove viruses. Three other online virus protection programs will scan specific files but not your whole computer.

Your best bet if you suspect your computer may be infected - or if you haven't virus-checked it in a long time - is to purchase or update a high-rated anti virus software such as Norton Antivirus software (also known by its company name as Symantec), BitDefender, F-Secure, Kapersky, McAfee, or Trend Micro.

However, in a pinch, you can quickly surf to the sites of most of these virus protection companies as well as a few other online virus scan sites, and have all your files scanned for viruses. BitDefender, Panda and Trend Micro Online Virus Scan actually have virus removers on the Internet which will clean and if possible repair infected files.

The table below describes each of these sites, what each online virus scanner does, and the system and browser requirements for use. Note that many are Windows only, some require Internet Explorer (and the downloading and installation of ActiveX), and all require that you "sign" an online user agreement which absolves the company of responsibility if the program is not able to diagnose any virus you have, repair it, or stop any damage currently being done to your computer which may already be in process. The site will also alert you to the security and privacy level you will be able to maintain while the scan is occurring.

These are free services, but in many cases, the virus scan is offered by an antivirus software company which does wish to sell you their full package. These sites are legitimate antivirus software companies, but you need not purchase their product in order to use their free service.

Important Note: For your own protection, you may wish to backup your entire computer before using an online virus scan (although you may be hesitant to do so if you fear you are currently infected and have a fairly recent backup. You also should temporarily disable any antivirus software that you have installed, and close all open programs.

These online virus protection programs can be a godsend, but they are do not provide all the benefits or security of a complete anti virus software package. You want automatic real time protection and scanning,  and a firewall to protect you constantly against intrusion.

Continue to Online Antivirus table on page two

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copyright 2006 by Tracy Marks    Windweaver     Arlington, Massachusetts  (781) 641-3371         Tracy Marks
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