How to Spot and Protect Yourself from Fake Antivirus Software

By on Jun 16, 2014

Most of you know how important it is to have security software on your computers to stay protected from viruses, malware, spam, and other internet threats. Unfortunately, cybercriminals also know that it is critical to have a security solution, and they are using this knowledge to trick us into downloading fake virus protection that is designed to do harm to your computer.

Spotting a Fake Antivirus Solution

Fake antivirus software is one of the most persistent threats on the internet today. It masquerades as legitimate malware protection, but is actually a malicious software that extorts money from you to “fix” your computer. And often, this new antivirus program disables your legitimate security software that you already have, making it challenging to remove.

A rogue antivirus program will often hook you while you’re browsing the web by displaying a popup window claiming that your computer may be infected with various online threats. Often, the popup includes a phishing link to download security software that offers to solve the problem, or redirects you to a site that sells the fake antivirus application. It is also often also called scareware since the hackers use messages like “You have a virus,” as a way to get you to click on their message.

Because the idea of having an infected operating system usually means lost data, time, and money, most of us are eager to get rid of any potential problems right away. However, our eagerness to act without conducting proper research is what makes fake antivirus software so successful.

Once you click on the phishing link in the popup and enter your credit card details for the “purchase,” the hackers behind this threat now have your financial data to exploit. Not only can they use this data to conduct identity theft, but you’re also left with nothing but malware in return.

How to Protect Yourself From a Fake Antivirus Tool

Unsure if that antivirus app is real or fake? Fear not! Follow these steps to protect yourself from the hackers and their malicious software:

Never click on a link in a popup window

If you see a message pop up that says you have a virus or are infected with a malware threat, click the “x” in the corner to close it. These messages often contain phishing links that steal your personal data in exchange for malicious cyberthreats.

Use a legitimate malware detection program

 If you are concerned that your computer may be infected with a malware threat, run a scan using the legitimate security software or antivirus product you have installed on your  device.

What is the Best Antivirus Software for Optimal Security Protection?

Recruit the Best for Reliable Antivirus Protection

When it comes time to choose an antivirus tool, it can be tempting to select a free antivirus solution. However, free antivirus software can come at a price. Free tools simply don’t offer the level of advanced protection that modern technology users need. We require solutions that are as sophisticated as the threats we face, including everything from new strains of malware to identity theft. Additionally, free antivirus software can typically only be used on one device, while the average consumer has about three!

To ensure that your digital life is protected, use a security suite that has your best interest in mind. Ensure that you have comprehensive internet security installed on all your devices, like McAfee Total Protection. Our antivirus suite provides protection from online threats across your PC, Mac, tablet, and mobile device, as well as providing you with identity theft protection. Additionally, it comes with Password Manager to easily secure and manage your passwords by storing, auto-filling, and generating unique passwords. Furthermore, you can use our file shredder, McAfee Shredder, to delete sensitive files completely, ensuring no traces are left behind.

The cybersecurity landscape is constantly changing, which it why you need to recruit a best-in-class security solution. With robust, comprehensive security in place, your devices will be consistently protected from the latest threats in the ever-evolving. With all your devices safe, you can live your online life free from worry.

 

About the Author

McAfee

McAfee is the device-to-cloud cybersecurity company. Inspired by the power of working together, McAfee creates business and consumer solutions that make our world a safer place. Take a look at our latest blogs.

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  1. Thanks for sharing this information post. so much information in this post i always talk with my team for this site so thanks so much for your informative post,

  2. Thankyou for all your efforts that you have put in this. Very interesting information. I like this site very much so much superb information.

  3. I've seen software companies use 'alerts' to promote upgrading to their next product.

    Because legitimate companies use these tactics – its no wonder that end users get confused between what is a legitimate alert and not.

    I try to emphasis that users should not take what their computer says at face value. All images/messages are created by somebody- its important to determine who made the message and why before acting.

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