How To Scan with avast!
Anti-virus applications are abundant on the web today, and most of them come bundled with various components designed to protect your system from different threats, such as spyware, malware, trojans, viruses, and other malicious entities designed to steal your personal data, report your browsing habits, unwittingly direct you to an endless spiral of useless price comparison engines, or make a dozen other modifications to your system - each annoying, potentially very damaging and completely without the user’s consent.
As anti-virus tools become more complex, in an effort to step up the fight against increasingly devious malicious software, they also become trickier to figure out how to perform simple tasks. Even the “lightweight” solutions on the market have many more menus and sub-menus than their equivalent iterations just a few years ago.
The most lightweight and compact anti-virus tool on the internet at the moment is avast!, and the highly recommended, free vanilla version refreshingly provides solid anti-virus protection, and nothing else.
New users to the program, however, might still need some guidance in how to get the best out of it. Follow the steps below to learn how to perform a virus-sweep of your system using avast!
When avast! is installed, it will automatically launch and run in-memory, providing real-time protection of your system against new threats. To perform a retrospective scan of your hard drive for existing malicious software, first click the avast! Tray icon (on the right of the taskbar). The avast! main window is displayed.
From the Scan Computer module, within Scan Now, choose one of the following options and click Start:
• Quick Scan – this option scans the System drive (where Windows is installed), a very fast check for rootkits (hidden software enabling access to your system) and Auto-start programs.
• Full System Scan – checks all attached hard disks, a more thorough rootkit scan, Auto-start programs and all modules currently loaded into memory.
• Removable Media Scan – checks devices such as USB drives for viruses.
• Select Folder to Scan – checks a folder specified by you for viruses.
When the scan is complete, avast! displays a summary of results, including any threats detected, and counter-measure options. Threats can be deleted by selecting this option from the dropdown menu next to the threat description. Alternatively, you can instruct avast! To attempt to Repair the file, Move to Chest (quarantine) or simply Do Nothing (if you are aware that the entity in question poses no threat).
Tips & Advice
- The Boot-Time Scan is avast!’s best defence against malicious software. Many viruses and other forms of malware are extremely difficult to isolate, but a Boot-Time Scan performs a direct search of the hard disk before Windows, and any resident unwelcome entities, are activated.
This will result in a much more thorough scan of your system, and it is well worth investing the extra time needed to do this. Follow these steps to schedule a Boot-Time Scan:
• Click Boot-Time Scan from the Scan Computer module within the main avast! window.
• Click Schedule Now. The next time your PC starts, avast! will perform a thorough sweep of your system before Windows starts. If any threats are detected, the same appropriate options (detailed in Step 3) for handling them are presented, via a command-line interface.