One of the easiest ways of getting a Trojan or virus on your computer is clicking unknown links and opening attachments from unsafe websites or click-bait emails. VirusTotal is a free web-based scanner that allows you to check files, websites or search their database for any links or attachments you’re not sure about.
How does VirusTotal work?
VirusTotal inspects items with over 70 antivirus scanners and URL/domain blacklisting services, in addition to a myriad of tools to extract signals from the studied content. Any user can select a file from their computer using their browser and send it to VirusTotal. VirusTotal offers a number of file submission methods, including the primary public web interface, desktop uploaders, browser extensions and a programmatic API. The web interface has the highest scanning priority among the publicly available submission methods. Submissions may be scripted in any programming language using the HTTP-based public API.
As with files, URLs can be submitted via several different means including the VirusTotal webpage, browser extensions and the API.
Upon submitting a file or URL basic results are shared with the submitter, and also between the examining partners, who use results to improve their own systems. As a result, by submitting files, URLs, domains, etc. to VirusTotal you are contributing to raise the global IT security level.
This core analysis is also the basis for several other features, including the VirusTotal Community: a network that allows users to comment on files and URLs and share notes with each other. VirusTotal can be useful in detecting malicious content and also in identifying false positives — normal and harmless items detected as malicious by one or more scanners.
Do not click on unknown links in emails from people or companies that you don’t know or have not subscribed to.
Don’t believe the offers you may receive online. If it looks too good to be true, it’s normally a scam and could compromise your online safety. These types of scams are looking to gain access to your P.C and network via a virus. If you need to open a file but unsure of whether it may contain a virus, use VirusTotal to scan the file. This is a free virus scanner and really worth bookmarking for easy access.