Check files for viruses before downloading

Check files for viruses before downloading

A few days ago, I wrote about a tool like VirusTotal, how it can be used to check a questionable file against multiple antivirus databases at once and when it can be useful. Check out VirusTotal's online virus scan.

Using this service as it is may not be entirely convenient, furthermore, to check for viruses you first have to download the file to your computer, then upload it to VirusTotal and view the report. If you have Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer or Google Chrome installed, you can check the file for viruses before downloading it to your computer, which is much more convenient.

Installing the VirusTotal browser extension

To install VirusTotal as a browser extension, go to the official page, you can select the browser used by the links in the upper right (the browser does not is automatically detected).

Then click Install VTchromizer (or VTzilla or VTexplorer, depending on the browser used). Go through the installation process used in your browser, it is usually not complicated. And start using it.

Use VirusTotal in the browser to check programs and files for viruses

After installing the extension, you can right-click a website link or any file download and select "Check with VirusTotal" from the context menu. By default, it is the site to be checked, so let me show you an example.

Let's enter a typical Google query about viruses (yes, that's right, if you write that you want to download something for free and without registration, you will most likely find a questionable site, more on this here) and let's go, let's say, to the second result.

In the center is a button offering to download the program, right-click and select check VirusTotal. As a result, we will see a report for the site, but not for the downloaded file - as you can see, the site is clean in the image. But do not rest on your laurels.

To find out what the proposed file contains, click on the link "Go to the analysis of the downloaded file". The result is the following: as you can see, 10 of the 47 antiviruses used found suspicious things in the downloaded file.

Depending on the browser you use, the VirusTotal extension can be used differently: for example, in Mozilla Firefox you can choose to scan for viruses before saving the file in the download dialog, in Chrome and Firefox you can quickly scan a site for viruses using the panel icon, and in Internet Explorer the context menu item appears "Send URL to VirusTotal". But in general, everything is very similar and in all cases you can check a questionable file for viruses even before downloading it to your computer, which can have a positive effect on computer security.

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