Panda's antivirus solution detects viruses in email clients

For years, virus protection programs have protected your computer systems. Viruses can even attack your systems from seemingly innocent sources, such as email. Panda Software's Panda Antivirus 6.0—which Panda includes in its Antivirus Platinum software suite—provides a solution.

Panda Antivirus is an add-on product for Microsoft's Exchange Client and Outlook software. This product doesn't run on the Exchange Server machine—you install and maintain it within your client email program. The product is fully compatible with Exchange Server 5.5, Exchange Server 5.0, Exchange Server 4.0, Outlook 98, and Outlook 97.

Panda Antivirus offers standard functionality. You can perform three types of scans: Real Time, which functions behind the scenes automatically; On Demand, which lets you manually scan software; and Scheduled, which performs automatically according to a schedule you establish. How Panda Antivirus handles a virus it detects on an email message depends on how you configure the product. You can configure the software to automatically send the Administrator an email message, send a warning to the originator and other recipients of the message, or insert a warning message into the body of the email message. Panda Antivirus can also delete the virus, rename the affected file, or ignore the file altogether.

Panda Antivirus can detect viruses in attached files, regardless of how the sender has encoded the message. It can also detect viruses in Object Linking and Embedding (OLE) objects. If you routinely send or receive Microsoft Word or Microsoft Excel files, you can configure Panda Antivirus to automatically detect and eliminate any macro viruses, even within compressed files.

I installed Panda Antivirus on my Toshiba Tecra 730XCDT laptop running Windows 98 with Outlook. (You can't run Exchange or Outlook during the installation.) The entire installation process took less than 3 minutes.

When I launched Outlook, the software automatically scanned the contents of my Inbox and personal folders, checking all messages for viruses. The product's default options, however, are insufficient for virus detection. For instance, the disinfection option is, by default, set to ignore. After I installed Panda Antivirus, I had to visit each of the configuration screens to ensure the product was functioning the way I wanted it to. After you configure the product, you can set a password to prevent other users from changing your settings.

Panda Antivirus adds Scan, Show Report, Activate/Deactivate, and Configure buttons to the Outlook toolbar. Scan lets you perform on-demand scanning. Show Report displays the results of the most current scan performed on your system. Activate/Deactivate lets you turn Panda Antivirus on and off. Finally, Configure launches a dialog box in which you can configure the software's options. Screen 1 shows a typical configuration screen.

You can use four tabs in the Configure window to control how Panda Antivirus operates. These tabs include General, Startup, Real Time, and On Demand. The General tab contains a series of options applicable to the software as a whole. For instance, this dialog box lets you configure whether you want the software to send notifications to individuals when it detects a virus.

The Startup, Real Time, and On Demand tabs let you control specific scan behavior. For example, the Startup tab lets you configure how the product scans unread email when you launch Outlook or Exchange Server. The Real Time option lets you activate realtime scans. The On Demand tab controls options for manual scans. In all of these cases, the software can ignore or remove a virus from a message, or it can rename the affected file.

The price for Panda Antivirus includes a full year of virus signature updates from Panda's Web site, and a year of 24 X 7 technical support. Given the potential damage even one virus can cause, the utility of the product more than justifies the price.

Panda Antivirus 6.0
Contact:
Panda Software * 415-392-5850
Web: http://www.pandasoftware.com
Price: $59
System Requirements:
Microsoft Outlook, 3MB of RAM