January 6, 2016
Having antivirus and anti-malware on your system is essential, if you want to keep your data and everything else you have protected from these malicious software. Choosing and installing one of the many options you have from the many brands that create these protective programs is indeed a good idea, but a few are still skeptical about whether or not these are actually doing what they are supposed to be doing. How can you tell if the anti-virus and anti-malware you have is indeed protecting your data and your computer, and what can you do to make sure that these are actually working?
Normally, for you to check if your car alarm works, you try to do something to trigger it. You don’t go and break into it for this to happen though. You simply nudge it or bump it to see if the alarm goes off. This is what you need to do with your anti-virus and anti-malware software. Although the company that sold you your software will guarantee that these will keep any harmful programs from infecting your computer or your system, there is an organization that actually helps reassure users that what they have is effectively protecting their computers.
The AMTSO, or the Anti-Malware Testing Standards Organization, has a number of tools that you can use to help determine if your computer is indeed protected, and they have this on their site. When you go to their site, and you click on the Security Features Check, you will find options for checking either a desktop computer or a mobile device. When you click on the link for desktop, you will be presented with 6 testing options. For android, you have 4 options. These options will help you check if you are indeed protected from harmful programs that may find its way into your computer.
The testing process that you will find you can use here includes testing for protection against manually downloadable malware (via the EICAR.COM site), drive-by downloads (still via the EICAR.COM site), compressed malware downloads, PUA downloads, and phishing page access. This site also enables you to check if your cloud protection is working as well. For android checking, you do not get the option for cloud protection and compressed malware.
If you want to push the limits of your anti-malware and anti-virus software, you can also try to use other testing tools apart from the AMTSO testing page. Some of the other tools people end up using to check for problems with their protective software include Comodo Leak Tests (which check for firewall leaks) and Trojan Simulator. Other people also try to check for malicious software by using a number of other online tools like Zemana Simulation, System Shutdown Simulation, and many more.
These tools will tell you your protective programs are working when these are detected by your current software as harmful or malicious. If these harmless tools are not flagged as such, then you may need to find better protection for your computer or your system. You may also want to check if your anti-virus or anti-malware is properly installed and is actually running.