Your computer cannot be completely secure without a thorough antivirus test. You should test your antivirus software on a monthly basis; especially if your computer contains sensitive personal or business information.
The EICAR Test
If you have never tested your antivirus software before, the EICAR test is a great place to start. EICAR.com allows you to download a file that, upon completion of the download should trigger an alert from your antivirus software.
If you are unable to download the file, you can copy and paste code into your text editor that EICAR has specifically created for antivirus software testing. Once you have copied and pasted the code, save the file. If your antivirus software is working, your action of saving the file should trigger an alert.
The alert received from your antivirus software is a sign that your computer is protected. If you receive no alert, your antivirus software is not working. You may need to re-install the software or switch to a more reputable software provider.
Spycar is a useful antivirus test for systems that may be potentially hijacked by malware attacks.
Once Spycar is opened, the application will request that you create a small file on your hard drive. No worries, as this file will be used for storing pertinent information about the antivirus test.
Spycar works by executing programs within your browser software. Currently, this test works best on a Windows machine running Internet Explorer software. If your antivirus software is running correctly, Spycar will be blocked. If your antivirus software does not block the program, Spycar will pop up, allowing you to click on a number of different links that will test your system and return any pertinent results to you. Once the operation is complete, Spycar allows you to remove all files from your computer.
The combined results of both of these tests will give you an excellent idea about your current level of protection. If your computer fails both tests, you should consider upgrading your current software or downloading new software from a different manufacturer.