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.
The installation of this type of malware can often lead to a critically disabled PC, or in the worst case scenario, allow 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 malware strains that infest the cyber world.
As part of the mix of security solutions, online scanners offer an extra layer of protection that’s required in the current Internet environment.
The following graphics illustrates a scan I ran on a Windows 7 system:
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 often 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.
May have fewer scanning options than locally installed AV solutions.
Not all scanners disinfect, or remove found malware.
Panda ActiveScan 2
ActiveScan 2.0 is an advanced online scanner based on Collective Intelligence (scanning in-the-cloud) that detects malware that traditional security solutions cannot detect.
Make sure your antivirus is offering you proper protection.
Find hidden threats on your PC, such as rootkits, banker Trojans and malware designed to steal your identity.
Simple, online disinfection of all malware detected on your PC.
BitDefender Online Scanner
Free and effective malware cleanup directly from your browser
Incorporating the BitDefender award-winning scanning engines, BitDefender Online Scanner is an on-demand antivirus and antispyware tool that shows how safe your PC is. Accessible from your browser, it will scan and automatically clean the system memory, all files and drives’ boot sectors.
One major advantage of BitDefender Online Scanner is, you can use it without having to uninstall your existing data security product.
Symantec Security Check
The Symantec site offers two scans – a security checker and a virus scanner. Both use ActiveX, so you need to have Internet Explorer running.
The security scan checks that you’re running an anti-virus program and then looks for Windows vulnerabilities, hacker risks and Trojan horses.
The anti-virus checker performs a deep scan and takes a considerable amount of time to complete. It won’t remove any infections it finds, but will suggest actions that you can take.
Note: Does not disinfect.
The graphic below (taken from my test system), outlines the results of the “hacker check” portion, of the Symantec Security Check.
Trend Micro’s HouseCall
HouseCall can quickly identify and fix a wide range of threats including viruses, worms, Trojans, and spyware. It is now faster, more powerful and browser independent.
Full scan and custom scan options, in addition to Quick Scan.
Support for 64-bit and Windows 7.
ESET Online Scanner
ESET Online Scanner is a user friendly, free and powerful tool which you can use to remove malware from any PC utilizing only your web browser without having to install anti-virus software.
ESET Online Scanner uses the same ThreatSense technology and signatures as ESET Smart Security/ESET NOD32 Antivirus, and is always up-to-date.
Administrator privileges are required to run ESET Online Scanner.
Kaspersky Online Virus Scanner is a free online virus scanner to find out if you have any viruses or spyware on your machine without having to uninstall your current antivirus software or install a new one.
Most importantly, you can see what viruses your current antivirus software let slip through.
Note: Does not disinfect.
It’s good practice to run an online scanner occasionally. It’s convenient, and it’s a good double-check that your onboard security solutions are effective.
If your onboard AV informs you that you’ve been infected, it’s always a good idea to run a secondary on board scanner for confirmation, followed by an online scan.
Antimalware applications are not immune from false positives. In fact, false positives are more common than many users realize. Here’s just one example – some AVs are notorious for seeing extractor files in application setup files as a Trojan.
So run an online scanner if you think you’ve been infected. You may think this is aggravating, and maybe it is, but it’s a better solution than having to rebuild your system because you’ve removed a critical file.
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