How do I know if an antivirus has returned a false positive?
If it is not an exe file, send it to yourself in Gmail then try to download it. Gmail will run their antivirus programs against it. I think they have a pretty good idea what is good or not. I'm not sure if they scan a file for viruses when you first attach it as well as when you download it but I think they definitely do it when you download the file.
Manuel thanks for reminding me of virustotal and Ion for the desktop extension app which I downloaded, installed and hope to remember to use.
I tried some of the freeware I created that have installmonetizer.com offers, (I know its not so good but they help support the programming). Most of the antivirus companies gave the software passes. ESET NOD32 did not. So I'm guessing if you have that program installed you might be getting false positive if you are trying to install software that have opt/in adware offers attached.
The ESET NOD32 people are kind of right that adware is annoying but in other ways if you decline all offers its just freeware and not a real virus.
Submit the file in sites like Virustotal.com so you can compare other antivirus' opinion on that particular file. If only one antivirus returns the threat, it probably is false positive.
you can send email with the file to the antivrus maker
If you have any doubts to whether your AV has returned a false positve or not just Google the "virus/file" and see what you find.
I have also received false positive from an antivirus and knew it was really false because it was an unknown file extension from a type of file that I created myself when I was creating an application. So it might also be something that you will not find on line.
You should ask for a second opinion (another antivirus).
Here is a website that allows you to scan a file or URL with a lot of antivirus programs:
Thanks for providing this link, Manuel. I have bookmarked it will certainly use it.
Probably you have noticed their desktop utiliy - https://www.virustotal.com/documentation/desktop-applications/
"...right-click any file under 32MB and choose VirusTotal from the Send To Windows menu..."
scan in safe mode.
scan virus and protect your computer
Using virus samples , antivirus detect the virus... av-comparatives site u can see the reports ...
check the report, see virus history
it depends sometimes you download some antivirus often abuse with false positives is something that marks you virus when in fact neither is
Search the file or virus online in a search engine and get reports from other major antivirus because its less likely that your the only one who got that false positive