An Overview of Free Online Virus Scans

by Barbara J. Feldman on December 25, 2007

Staying safe online is often something that is at the forefront of many people’s minds. The Internet is something that we use almost every day for a very wide variety of tasks. We keep and store important personal information on our computers, and there are people that may want to take advantage of us and use that information for their gain and our loss. There are many ways to protect yourself from would-be intruders that want to get your information and use it for their own benefit. Many systems are in place and constantly being updated to keep you safe. Another service that can give you even more peace of mind is a free online virus scan offered by many different companies. Here is a brief look at online virus scans.

Online virus scan programs can be found easily enough on the Internet. One of the most effective ways is to use a search engine that you know and trust to give good results and just look for online virus scans. You may have to sift through some sites that only offer fully functional programs that you download to your computer, but you will be able to find some sites that will offer this service for free. There may be ads or featured results that come up with your search and it may be a good idea to check these sites out as well. Before you decide to use any online virus scan, make sure that you feel comfortable using it and that it is preferably from a reputable company that has other dealings with anti-viral and spam programs. If ever you don’t trust something or feel like there is something wrong, you may need to do more research before you decide to let a program see files you keep on your computer. It is a good idea to always follow your instincts when you are making choices about information that is important to you.

There are some advantages to using an online virus scan over a fully functional program already on a computer. One of the main ones is that it avoids any conflicts with other security devices used on a computer, like a firewall or other programs. You won’t have to disable any programs to use it like you might with a downloadable program. They are also very easy to use and many even provide step by step instructions to help you get out of it what you need to know. This is especially useful to people who don’t have much experience using an anti-virus program or people who may not understand the interface of their own program. There are also some sites that offer and provide quicker updates and more real time information than some downloaded programs can.

There are also some disadvantages of using an online virus scan. The biggest reason is that it is not proactive and doesn’t provide real-time protection. An online scan cannot be constantly active and detect an intrusion as soon as it occurs or let you know if something is amiss. It can only tell you if there are currently problems or infected files on your computer and then take action on those files (which may require an additional fee). It is only faster than a scan from an installed program in very few instances and offers less options and control panels than the installed scanner will. Some can only scan a file or computer and tell you if there is an infection but then can do nothing to correct the problem. There may also be limits as to what type of file can be scanned and some formats may not be supported. Make sure that you are using the online scan for the reasons that are best to you and remember that they are not a good replacement for safe computer practices.

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Cite This Page

Feldman, Barbara. "An Overview of Free Online Virus Scans." Surfnetkids. Feldman Publishing. 25 Dec. 2007. Web. 17 Jul. 2014. <http://www.surfnetkids.com/tech/1238/an-overview-of-free-online-virus-scans/ >.