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False Positives and False Negatives
It is the nature of virtually every test that sometimes errors occur, and scanning for viruses is no exception. There are two types of errors that every virus scanning has the potential to make:
Note: Using incorrect virus
definition files, or ones designed for either an older or newer version of your virus
scanner, can result in copious amounts of false positives. I've had this happen myself and
it can be quite alarming since I am quite careful about digital
Modern virus scanners are very reliable, if given up-to-date virus definition files and especially when combined with virus protection methods. Still, it is important to remember that no scanner is foolproof. Similarly, remember that false positives do occur, so it is possible that you may not have a virus when you initially get a report saying you have one.
Tip: If you get a report of a
virus and suspect that it is a false positive, verifying the report with another virus
checker is always a good idea (but bear in mind that some scanners may find viruses that
others do not.)
Next: Virus Definition Files