Free Online Virus Scans: What You Want To Know

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by Barbara J. Feldman on December 25, 2007

Using the Internet is very important to us and there are many threats, as well as opportunities associated with using a computer and especially one connected to the Internet. There are many great things that can happen online but there are also people who want to take advantage of others for their own gain and profit. It is important to stay alert and to protect yourself in any ways you can to guard your personal information. Online virus scans are one option to help you keep your computer and the personal information you keep on it safe.

Free online virus scans are offered by a wide variety of companies and there is a broad range in their capability and effectiveness. There are some situations in which using an online scanner would be beneficial and others where it would not.

Using online virus scans is a good choice for people that have limited ability to download programs or files to their computer or who are not comfortable or familiar enough with an operating system to do so. Many office networks don’t allow users on it to download or install programs such as virus scanners and other software that would keep information safe. If you need to scan a file and see if it is infected before you download it, using an online scanner may be a good idea. Online virus scan programs are also good for people who may not have much experience with an installed program because they sometimes will walk the user through every step of the way and make sure that they are doing things in the right order to take care of any problems that are found. Another advantage of an online scanner is that is may also have access to updated virus databases before your computer will be able to download the information.

There are also some disadvantages to using an online virus scan. Many people would probably want to use it instead of having a program installed on their computer, but this is highly discouraged. Online scans should never be a replacement for using an active and frequently updated anti-virus program on your computer, especially if it is your home computer. One of the major disadvantages about online scans is that they don’t provide real time protection. This means that they are only able to do anything if there is already a virus or other form of malware on your computer. It is not proactive and can’t protect your computer from intrusions that may happen. It can only work retroactively and tell you what has already happened and then instruct you on how to correct the problem. An installed program is important because it provides that feature and preempts any attacks that are recognizable. Another thing about online scans is that they require Internet access and speeds that are dial up are not usually sufficient to be effective. There are also fewer options to customize the interface and interaction to your needs.

There are many reputable companies that offer free online scans as a service to people who may need to use them to protect their computer. They are often companies that also make and maintain installed anti-virus and malware protection software. One thing to keep in mind with online scans is that the scan is free but that the repairs that may need to take place on a computer may not be. There are often fees associated with removing the infected files on your computer. However, this may be the only option that some people have to get their computer back in working order. Use good judgment when you decide whether or not using an online virus scan is right for your needs.


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Cite This Page

Feldman, Barbara. "Free Online Virus Scans: What You Want To Know." Surfnetkids. Feldman Publishing. 25 Dec. 2007. Web. 25 Apr. 2014. <http://www.surfnetkids.com/tech/1239/free-online-virus-scans-what-you-want-to-know/ >.