Free web service lets you upload files and have them checked for viruses and other nasties.
you need to download resource intensive and troublesome antivirus programs to investigate suspicious files, or for detecting dangerous sites.
Google-owned VirusTotal delivers traditional antivirus software like many other software companies, but also a very nifty web service.
Not only can analyze the file you suspect to contain malicious code, but it can also examine web pages you want to make sure that secure before they visited.
All you need to do is upload the suspicious file, then get feedback if it contains any nasties. It makes the service by analyzing the file with help from a dozen security programs, all of which are updated every 15 minutes.
Can also be run locally on the machine
Are you often in contact with what you think might be dangerous files, there are also free programs that can be downloaded for Windows and OS X.
The program is very easy to use. After installing the Windows version, simply right-click a suspicious file, move the mouse pointer over “Send to” and choose VirusTotal from the menu.
You can also upload files directly from the program, while the Mac version can also drag and drop the file onto the application window to perform a check.