Security 101: September 2012

As previously announced, we continue to answer questions received from the readers of the PC.COM magazine.


Right now I am using licensed Avira Internet Security, how do I know that my computer is really safe from Trojan, virus, malware, spyware, etc. However, there was a time when I plugged in a flashdrive with an apparent virus into my notebook but Avira did not detect any virus. However, when it was plugged into my friend’s notebook with other security software, it eventually detects it. Is there any evidence that can prove the detection as a false alarm?


There can be two reasons why one antivirus has detected a file which another antivirus didn’t.

Each antivirus has its own sources for receiving in the wild malicious files. Even if all antivirus producers are exchanging these files among themselves, it might happen that at some point in time one detects the file while another one hasn’t added yet detection.

The other possibility is that the file is a false positive. A false positive means that an antivirus detects a clean file as malicious because of mistakes in the detection engine.

If you are not sure about a file, there are various websites where you can upload the file to be checked my many antiviruses in the same time. Probably the most well-known such website is



How can I protect my Android phone from malware attacks?

The malware attacks on Android are still a rare event, but we see more and more trojans that get in to the Android market.

There are several security solutions which you could install (some free, some paid) but remember that none of them can guarantee you 100% security.

The safest and easiest way to stay safe is to install only apps that come from a well-known producer and have been evaluated by many users.



Sorin Mustaca

Data Security Expert