Even if you're armed with an up-to-date antivirus program, you might still run
into malware baddies you can't detect or remove. As long as you can still get
online, though, you can use an increasing number of free tools to find and, in
most cases, remove threats. Here's where to find them - and how they work.
If you need a second opinion, use an online virus and threat scanner. This category, once limited to a few choices like Trend Micro's House Call and Symantec's Security Check, now contains many additional contenders:
Most online virus scanners both find and remove viruses and threats. However, if you find a particular virus with an online virus scan that cannot remove it, you might be able to download a specialized removal tool.These are offered by
To select the right downloadable removal tool, you must know the name of the virus or threat. This can be tricky, as different antivirus vendors use different naming conventions. Consult the virus encyclopedias offered by antivirus vendors to determine alternative names (sometimes called 'aliases') for a particular threat so you can download the correct one. The Symantec, Trend Micro, F-Secure, and Microsoft encyclopedias are among those that generally feature good lists of aliases used by other vendors.
As you can see, there's no shortage of solutions to a virus or malware infection - even if your installed antivirus program can't find or remove it.