Kaspersky Lab has released Security Scan 2.0, a simple and free tool designed to scan a PC for security issues.
The program can run either a quick or full system scan to detect any malware; it will also check to see whether the computer is properly protected with antivirus software; and you’ll even get a report on possible problems with Windows settings (Security Scan will check Internet Explorer’s configuration options, for instance).
What Security Scan 2.0 won’t do, unfortunately, is fix any of these issues itself. It’s essentially just a neat piece of Kaspersky advertising: if it does find a problem, you’ll see a “Fix Now” button which will prompt you to purchase something from the Kaspersky site.
But does this mean the program has no value? Far from it.
If you regularly help out friends or family members with their PC problems, for instance, then you’ll probably find that even now, a few of them don’t have antivirus software (a recent McAfee survey said as many as 17% of PCs worldwide had no active protection). When you encounter an unprotected system then your first step should probably be to check for infections, and Security Scan is a great way to make this happen, quickly giving you a good idea of your target computer’s security state.
If your PC does have an antivirus package installed, but you’d just like a second opinion on a possible infection, then again Security Scan can be useful. Especially as it offers both quick and full system scans, so you can choose speed or thoroughness, according to your situation.
And whatever you’re doing, it’s good to see that Security Scan 2.0 comes in the form of a convenient 175KB executable. This is just a stub, of course – it needs to download 42MB of Kaspersky antivirus technology before you can really get started – but it does at least mean you can initiate the process from a USB stick, making it easy to get a report on just about any PC you encounter.