Is my antivirus actually working?

as more and more people become aware of all the bad things out there in the tangled mess of the interweb, most people just take for granted that their antivirus software is actually working.

virus-pendriveI have a stock pile of known virus’s but they are not what i would want to use to test an otherwise healthy computer with, hence the EICAR test virus is the perfect solution.  Back when i first started using EICAR it stood for European Institute for Computer Antivirus Research.  Now EICAR is just known for their name as an security company rather than just AV.

You can download the test virus’s from their website,

The signature of the file is designed to set off any virus and label it as the EICAR Test-Virus but no actual harm is done to your computer if the antivirus doesn’t catch it.  It does give you the chance to see if your antivirus is actually working and picking up treats.