Test your Defenses Online

<< Scan your computer to see if it's already infested with malware.

Beware: Free scan sites may *find* malware on your PC or holes in your defense and offer to fix your PC, usually by selling you a program. Don't buy any solutions until you have checked the recommendations in the 7-Step Plan, particularly Step 4: Install Anti-spyware/Anti-malware Programs.

Hint: Use Microsoft's monthly "Patch Tuesday" (automatic updates) to remind you to run online scans. :-)

Comprehensive scans
Various security tests
Go to Exploit Prevention Labs
website LinkScanner ™:
Check any page for exploits before opening it (you will be taken automatically to the page you enter if that page is exploit free).
To always be sure you're safe from exploits, get LinkScanner
Firewall test sites

Firewalls do most of their work with little fanfare. How do you know yours is actually working? You can't tell unless you test it. You can't test it directly, because the tests must come from outside your computer. You need to find a test site that will rigorously challenge it.

Firewall tests only show the view from the outside looking in. If you have a resident Trojan, it can easily create a hole in your firewall and "call home". Once it establishes contact with it's Trojan master, your computer is completely open to attack. (Go on to the next section to learn how to test for Trojans.)

More on the Web

Fred Langa reports on "Good And Bad Online Security Check-Ups"

The "List of Lists" has a comprehensive list of Security Test Sites, as well as lists on just about everything in cyberland.

Eric Howes' "Online Security & Privacy Tests" page links to just about anything you could imagine on the topic.