Is your PC safe from malware? OPSWAT Security Score answers

Understanding a PC’s security status normally involves considering many separate factors. Does it have an antivirus program installed, for instance? A backup tool? A firewall? Are they set up correctly, and being used on a regular basis? Evaluating every possibility could take you a very long time.

Or alternatively, you could just run OPSWAT’s Security Score, a free and portable tool that will quickly report on your target PC’s security, and give advice on how it could be improved.

The program is very simple, with no configuration options to consider, and a very straightforward interface. After launching, all you have to do is check its terms and conditions (the key point being that they’ll collect general statistics on the security applications people are using), agree to them if you like, click “Start”, and within a few seconds the program will rate your PC’s performance in seven key areas: Antivirus, Antiphishing, File Sharing, Backup, Patch Management, Encryption and Firewall.

What do these scores mean? Clicking an individual area will drill down into the details. Our test PC scored 20/20 for Backup, for instance, because it detected that we had both Windows Backup and Macrium Reflect installed and running. (The program will also try to tell you your last backup time, but for some reason this wasn’t possible on our system.)

Other scores seemed a little more questionable. We also scored 20/20 for antiphishing, but that seemed to be solely on the basis that we were using the built-in IE and Firefox protection. Are OPSWAT really saying that merits the highest possible score?

We weren’t entirely sure that our test PC should have received 5/10 for “hard drive encryption”, either. Apparently we got half marks for having Bitlocker available, even though we weren’t using it, and therefore it was providing no protection at all.

But there’s still plenty of valuable information here, particularly if you’re running OPSWAT Security Score to quickly evaluate someone else’s system. If your kids have a laptop which they use, for instance, then the program is an easy way to make sure it’s still configured properly (backups are still running, antivirus is installed and working, they’ve not installed file sharing software, and so on).

We’d still like a little more configurability, especially in terms of deciding how the various elements are scored. But even now OPSWAT Security Score can be very useful, providing a quick and convenient way to evaluate the security of any PC.

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