Why You Need to Scan With an Online Malware Scanner

The one thing we know for sure about today’s malware is it’s very smart. It’s so smart that it often recreates its own component parts even if it has been deleted. How smart is that?

Today’s malware generally writes itself into multiple parts of the operating system and in many cases it can hide it’s files, registry entries, running process and services, making the infection virtually invisible.

Highly experienced computer users’ have come to realize that the Internet is alive with predators intent on installing damaging programs, (Spyware, adware, viruses and Trojans), on vulnerable computer systems. However, the sad reality is, the majority of computer users are undereducated when it comes to recognizing the dangers and threats that the Internet poses to their computers, and to their personal privacy.

The installation of such malware invariable leads to a critically disabled PC, or in the worst case scenario, allows hackers access to important personal and financial information.

There are plenty of good anti-malware products, but no one anti-malware tool is likely to identify and remove all of the millions of rogue malware that infest the cyber world. One of my Internet friends, a Professor of University level Computer Sciences, frequently reminds me “Too much security is still not enough”. Sadly, he is right.

So to ensure maximum safety, it’s important to have layered defenses in the ongoing fight against malware. As part of the mix of security solutions, online scanners offer an extra layer of protection that’s required in the current Internet environment.

Online Scanner Benefits:

Generally fast and easy to use

Threat signatures and heuristic detection algorithms are always up to date

Provides deep scanning of archive files, runtime packed executables and email messages

Can detect malware that some AV solutions cannot detect

Avoids conflicts with existing security software

Acts as a double-check on the accuracy of your onboard AV solutions

Disadvantages

Fewer scanning options than locally installed AV solutions

Not all scanners disinfect

The following are Online Scanners that have developed a good reputation for accuracy; be sure to read the Terms of Use or Privacy Statements carefully.

Panda NanoScan

McAfee FreeScan

Symantec Security Check

Panda Security

Trend Micro’s HouseCall

ESET Online Scanner

Kaspersky

As I have pointed out in the past on this Blog, the following are actions you can take to protect your computer system:

  • When surfing the web: Stop. Think. Click
  • Don’t open unknown email attachments
  • Don’t run programs of unknown origin
  • Disable hidden filename extensions
  • Keep all applications (including your operating system) patched
  • Turn off your computer or disconnect from the network when not in use
  • Disable Java, JavaScript, and ActiveX if possible
  • Disable scripting features in email programs
  • Make regular backups of critical data
  • Make a boot disk in case your computer is damaged or compromised
  • Turn off file and printer sharing on the computer.
  • Install a personal firewall on the computer.
  • Install anti-virus/anti-spyware software and ensure it is configured to automatically update when you are connected to the Internet
  • Ensure the anti-virus software scans all e-mail attachments
  • Install Web of Trust, or a similar browser add-on

6 Comments

Filed under Anti-Malware Tools, Freeware, Interconnectivity, Internet Safety, Online Safety, Safe Surfing, Software, Spyware - Adware Protection, System Security, Utilities, Windows Tips and Tools

6 responses to “Why You Need to Scan With an Online Malware Scanner

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  6. No one has mentioned HIPS which tries to prevent malware by it’s behavor.

    With malware writers getting so smart. It’s getting so that it is getting harder and harder to detect.

    I think signature detection is going to be a line of second defense.

    With HIPS behavior detection being the first line of defense.

    Has anyone else tried virustotal ?

    You can upload a file it will scan it with about 34 different virus scanners.