December 12, 2010

Check If Your Anti-Virus Is Working

Having virus-free computers in an i-café is a must if you are to keep your loyal customers.  Not only will the customers shy away from your shop if you have virus-infected computers, you could also lose your investment for the equipment because there are viruses that could make them defective. It is not enough that you have a rollback program that could eliminate them when your units are restarted. There are chances that the next customer get to use a unit infected by the activity of the previous user if you fail to restart it before assigning the unit to him. A second line of defense and it is the usual practice, is the installation of an anti-virus software and making sure that it is working.

If you already installed anti-virus in your units, do you regularly check if it is working? You may not be doing it because your customers are not complaining about files getting infected or because you are afraid to use a real virus to check if your anti-virus is really working. The fear to use a true virus to see if it gets caught by your anti-virus is understandable but there is a safe way to do the checking and this is by using the EICAR Standard Anti-Virus Test.

The EICAR virus test is a harmless text file that is detected as a virus by most anti-virus software. It can be used to verify if a local virus scanner is working, check to see if an email server scans for viruses, and test if scanners detect viruses inside archives. For an i-café, the virus test can be used to check if the virus scanner installed in a workstation is working and here’s how simple it is to do:

Open a new Notepad document and copy-paste the following text string:

Then, save the text as a .com file (any name will do, like
If working, your anti-virus should display its warning sign like the image I have below which showed when I did the test on my computer which has NOD32 Anti-Virus System installed in it. Why don’t you check if your anti-virus is working and ensure your customers and yourself that your computers are safe to use against viruses.

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