How do you know if your antivirus truly working 24/7? Is there a way to safely test the antivirus without having to actually endanger your computer? You would be happy to know that a simple line of text called the EICAR antivirus test file can safely check if your antivirus is truly active and protecting you.
The EICAR antivirus test file contains a series of text that is a world accepted standard for testing computer security programs.
In the screenshots below, we will guide you for safely downloading the EICAR test file. Remember that the aim of this tutorial is for your antivirus/antimalware software to immediately detect and delete (and in some cases totally prevent the access to the EICAR test file)
1. Open the EICAR website eicar - Home
. Click on the download Anti Malware Test file
2. Scroll down, and notice the download links to the lower left corner. Select any of the links – pick one or pick everything! Your antivirus software should sound alerts upon clicking any of download links.
3. On my home desktop, I use Avast Free Edition for my antivirus. I am relieved to know that it is indeed working 24/7 on my system. It has immediately blocked access to the EICAR test file.
4. Remember that the EICAR antivirus test file is an world and industry standard test for antivirus and security programs. A closer look at the Avast alert tells me the virus details. Avast actually detects EICAR to be a test file, it says that it is not a virus.
So there you have it! A safe, and industry standard method for testing and checking if an antivirus software is indeed working. Check your computer too with the EICAR test file
Explanation from the EICAR.org website:
The first 68 characters is the known string. It may be optionally appended by any combination of whitespace characters with the total file length not exceeding 128 characters. The only whitespace characters allowed are the space character, tab, LF, CR, CTRL-Z. To keep things simple the file uses only upper case letters, digits and punctuation marks, and does not include spaces. The only thing to watch out for when typing in the test file is that the third character is the capital letter "O", not the digit zero.
You are encouraged to make use of the EICAR test file. If you are aware of people who are looking for real viruses "for test purposes", bring the test file to their attention. If you are aware of people who are discussing the possibility of an industry-standard test file, tell them about eicar - Home, and point them at this article.