How to Check for Viruses and Malware with VirusTotal

In this post, we are discussing how you can use VirusTotal to check your device for viruses or malware. VirusTotal can be installed as an app on any streaming device such as Firestick, Fire TV, Nvidia Shield, Chromecast, Android box, mobile phone or tablet. It can also be used online on any web browser to scan URLs.

The examples in this guide use a Fire TV Stick 4k Max but the steps also apply to other devices. The Amazon Firestick is certainly the most popular streaming device on the market right now due to its low price and ability to jailbreak it with just a few simple tweaks. It’s a perfect streaming device for beginners as well advanced users who wish to cut the cord.

Table of Contents

What is VirusTotal?

VirusTotal is an application and a website that enables users to scan their device, files as well as website address for anything malicious. Using VirusTotal is completely free and certainly is a trusted source for keeping your devices safe.  

If using the app, once installed, VirusTotal inspects all of your installed applications with over 70 antivirus scanners to detect malicious files.

Why Do You Need VirusTotal?

Generally speaking, if you’re installing applications from official app stores such as Google Play or Amazon App Store, you can be pretty sure these apps are safe.

However, the same can’t be said for applications that you sideloading from alternative app stores or download pages. It’s therefore a good idea to make sure that these apps don’t contain anything that could potentially be harmful to your device.

How to Install VirusTotal

The VirusTotal app is not available to download from the Amazon app store. However, you can sideload it. In order to do so, your Firestick must be jailbroken so that you can install apps from unknown sources. Once your Firestick is, jailbroken you can then install the app from my Downloads page. Follow along with my video tutorial or the written instructions below instead.

How to Use VirusTotal to Scan Your Device

Open the application then select SCAN to begin scanning all installed apps on your device. Select OK if you get a message appear that the application won’t run without Google Services. This message can be ignored.

The scan should take less than a minute depending on your device and the number of apps you have installed.

Once the scan has finished, every app you have installed will be listed and reported as clean, suspicious or infected.

Any app with a green checkmark indicates that it is safe to use. If some scan engines detect any issues, VirusTotal takes these into consideration in its final report to verify against any false positives. So you may see that an app has 1 or 2 detections. But if VirusTotal gives it a green checkmark, it’s considered safe. 

Report Icons and Meanings

VirusTotal infected application

Your online activity is open to threats and snooping from your ISP, hackers, or governments. For that reason, a VPN can help to protect and defend you against any attacks. Using a VPN can also unblock access to the internet in countries where the internet is censored and can bypass other geographical restrictions.

In order to stream anonymously, stay protected, and unlock the internet, I recommend using NordVPN.

VirusTotal suspicious application
VirusTotal Safe application

Any applications that you install from the Downloads page on this website have already been scanned with VirusTotal. If you find that an application reports as infected, uninstall it and reinstall it from the Downloads page.

How to Use VirusTotal to Scan a URL or File

In addition to using the VirusTotal app to scan for viruses, users can select a file from their computer using a web browser and send it to VirusTotal. As with files, URLs can also be submitted for examination.

Simply visit the VirusTotal website then drag the file from your computer into your web browser to upload and start scanning the file. You’ll then see a list of each reviewing partner and their findings. Possible findings are:

  • Undetected: The given engine does not detect the file as malicious.
  • Suspicious:  The given engine flags the file as suspicious.
  • Unable to process file type: The given engine does not understand the type of file submitted and so will not produce verdicts for it.
  • Timeout: The given engine reached VirusTotal’s time execution limit when processing the file and so no verdicts were recorded for it.

Or, if it is a website URL you’d like to check, select the URL tab then enter the URL to scan it. You’ll then see a list of each reviewing partner and their findings. Possible findings include:

  • Clean site: no malware detected.

  • Unrated site: the partner never reviewed the given site.

  • Malware site: distributes malware.

  • Phishing site: the site tries to steal users’ credentials.

  • Malicious site: the site contains exploits or other malicious artifacts.

  • Suspicious site: the partner thinks this site is suspicious. Grey area.

  • Spam site: involved in unsolicited email, popups, automatic commenting, etc.

More detailed information regarding VirusTotal reports is available here.

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