Test your Anti-Virus Software
EICAR Anti-Virus Software Test:
A small file (not a REAL virus!) to test and verify the integrity of your Anti-Virus software!
This test virus was developed by the European Institute for Computer Anti-Virus Research (EICAR) to provide a safe way for you to test your Anti-Virus software. You can also check to see what happens when it actually detects a virus on your computer.
This is a 68-byte file which, if executed, simply displays the message;
An alert from your Anti-Virus software, that a virus has been detected.
This is a Zip file containing the file above. If you leave it on your hard drive untouched your Anti-Virus software should detect it even though it's still zipped. And if you try to unzip it, it should set off your Anti-Virus program and sound the alarm!
Once you've downloaded these files you might want to email them to yourself just to see how safe your email protection/virus protection really is.
You can then delete the files from your Anti-Virus software. See The Anti-Virus Test File page for further information and details.
IMPORTANT! This is the official EICAR test virus and it is NOT a real virus. It cannot and will not do any harm to your system even if your software does not detect it. Remember this is an old file (5 years old) and almost any Anti-Virus will recognize it as a virus. If yours doesn't you will either need to update / de-install and install a new one. If you don't want to buy one (and there really is no reason you have to) you can get a free Anti-Virus program called 'AVG' which, according to independent tests, works at least as well as the 'brand name' ones. You can read more about and downloadAVG by clicking here.
Also, please keep Windows updated to keep your computer secure. You can check for updates any time by visiting Windows Update.