Computer

3 ways to know if a file has a virus: one will surprise you

We have several methods that will help us to ensure that the files stored on our computer are free of viruses. For example, it is almost mandatory that we have antivirus software installed on the computer. In addition, in parallel, in everything related to security, we find an interesting service that has been with us for many years. This is VirusTotal, an online platform for scanning files for viruses.

In this case, what is interesting about all this is that it uses a wide variety of analysis engines of antivirus programs to verify those files that we upload to you. All this can be of great help to us to make sure that those files are clean before executing them locally on the PC. Keep in mind that an infected file can affect the entire operating system. Therefore, next, we will see several methods with which you can know if a file has a virus or not.

Scan the content with your antivirus

We have already told you on many occasions that it is advisable to have an antivirus installed on our PC. In addition, it must be properly updated to respond to the latest malicious code. This means that our local security software should be the first way to detect a virus in suspicious files. Generally, these programs allow us to analyze both the operating system in its entirety and a specific file, which is what interests us now.

In this way, to a large extent, we will be able to rule out that the content we suspect is infected by some type of malware.

Submit suspicious files to VirusTotal

Starting from the fact that this website makes use of a multitude of different antivirus engines, as you can imagine, the effectiveness increases considerably. And it is that generally when we scan a local file on our computer, we do it with the only antivirus that we have installed. Furthermore, it is a totally free service that we can use as many times as we need without spending a single euro. It must be said that this service offers us an extensive report with the results obtained by each of the antivirus engines. It is true that sometimes here we find false positives in a timely manner.

virus total scan

Thus, we only have to access the VirusTotal website and from there we only have to click on the button Choose file. This is how we select that content that we want to analyze. Once this is done we will have to confirm the upload of the selected file. After a few seconds, the website that we mentioned will present us with a complete report with each of the results of the scans independently.

Use a virtual machine

In recent times, programs focused on the virtualization of operating systems are more widespread than ever. Here we can load any system to carry out all kinds of tests and that all this does not affect the original operating system of the PC. Therefore, and as you can imagine, this will be extremely useful when analyzing any suspicious file that, for example, we are going to Internet download.

In this way we will be able to carry out all kinds of tests and analyzes on it in the virtual machine without endangering the original system. In the case of detecting a positive, we will already know that we should not download that specific file to our computer.

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