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How to check if my security product is working properly?

You should only have one antivirus product with real-time protection (RTP) enabled. Real-time protection is the permanent guard function that watches files being downloaded or copied onto your computer, and takes action if a malicious program is detected. If you have two programs both trying to do this at the same time, conflict can result. In the best case, you will find that your computer runs more slowly. In the worst case, the two programs may interfere with each other so much that no effective action is taken against the malicious file.

Even the “best” versions of security products will not be able to protect against the latest threats if the virus signature database is obsolete. So as a general and very important rule always keep their auto-update feature on. To check if your security product is working properly, there are

EICAR test file. The European Expert Group for IT-Security (EICAR) provides a simple test to check if your anti-virus or security product is working properly.

Hosts file checking. Some methods of attack use tampered hosts file to redirect your browser to malicious URLs. To learn more about the hosts file and how it should look refer to If you suspect the hosts file has been tampered with, you can edit it using a plain text editor such as Notepad (same you use for opening and viewing it). A specifically built hosts file can also be used to block connections to unwanted or potentially dangerous locations, such as the one provided by

AV-Comparatives and other independently ran tests and reviews. AV-Comparatives regularly performs comprehensive and innovative independent testings of anti-virus software and releases reviews helping users assess the capabilities of the different anti-virus software versions on the market and choose the best solution for their needs. Independent testing means that no anti-virus vendor is involved whatsoever in the testing procedures, which are developed by a neutral, independent team of IT-security specialists from the AV-Comparatives organization. A list of various independent testing labs can be found here: