The last thing online users want to find out is that their antivirus software are not working how they should and when they should. Just imagine a skydiver jumping out of a plane and rapidly free falling towards the ground, pulls his parachute release cord and realize it is not working. Well, if you do not want to be like that skydiver when it comes to protecting yourself against viruses, spyware, ransomware and other malware, you need to make sure your antivirus is actively working and protecting your computer at all times.
Please follow the instructions below to test your antivirus software using the EICAR Standard Anti-Virus Test.
The EICAR Standard Anti-Virus Test File or EICAR test file is a computer file that was developed by the European Institute for Computer Antivirus Research (EICAR) and Computer Antivirus Research Organization (CARO), to test the response of computer antivirus (AV) programs. Instead of using real malware, which could do real damage, this test file allows people to test anti-virus software without having to use a real computer virus.
How to Test if Your Antivirus, Anti-malware or Anti-spyware is Working
- Copy the following string of characters:
- Create a text file using Notepad, Textpad, or another text editor.
- Paste the string of characters that you have copied in step 1 into the text editor. If there is any space or new line at the end of the string after pasting it, please delete it.
- Save the text file and close your text editor.
- Open the text file by double-clicking on it, if it was not deleted.
Once you have saved the text file or attempt to open it, your antivirus should display a prompt or warning telling you that a threat was detected. Or, it will just remove the text file. If you are able to open and view the text file by double clicking on it, it means your antivirus is not actively protecting you.
Network administrators who want to test their email antivirus or firewall security software, can attach the same text file to an email message and send the same message to an email address on their network. Their antivirus or firewall security software should detect the attached text file as a virus or threat and remove it before it reaches the recipient.