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Free Virus Scanning Service

You have probably at one time or another stumbled upon a suspicious file on your computer or received an e-mail attachment that you weren't expecting. Sure, you could simply use your virus scanner (you do have up-to-date anti-virus software running, don't you?) to check the integrity of the file, but what if you don't have an anti-virus program? Or who's to say this isn't a brand new virus and the company that makes your anti-virus software hasn't gotten around to sending you an update that would allow the software to spot it as one?

Fortunately, there are online rescources you can turn to. One is's free service that lets you send them a suspicious file to have it checked for viruses, worms, spyware, etc.  The service checks the file against more than a dozen different anti-virus scanners.

VirusTotal allows you submit files either via e-mail or by using a tool on the company's Web site (instructions for how to do all this are displayed prominently on the site's front page). The company will then display or e-mail you a report on what it finds -- and unless you specify otherwise, it will share that information with the participating anti-virus companies.

By Brian Krebs  |  April 1, 2005; 9:10 AM ET
Categories:  Safety Tips  
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