Preventing Fake Antivirus

October 5, 2010, by | Start Discussion

The threat of viruses has increased and computer users have fear of getting affected with viruses thus the attackers knowing this concern of users attackers have come up with this Fake Antivirus which you may come across while surfing the internet through pop-ups or advertisement or through a link on your mail which claims that your system is infected and this AV will clean up your system. Don't be fooled! actually it offers no security and instead affect your computer with malwares. Users should be aware of this threat since not only it affects your system but also a user can compromise on their credentials like credit card details or their important passwords. One important thing they should keep in mind is a legitimate antivirus company would never market its product using pop-ups or emails.

How to Identify a Fake AV

  1. You may get a pop-up alert warning you that your system is infected and it claims to clean up your system or similar fear injecting pop-ups. As I said before a genuine antivirus would never advertise using pop-ups.
  2. You may be invited for a free security scan.
  3. You may come across an advertisement clean your system or to clean your registry or to enhance your computer performance, etc.
  4. You may come across a website which claims that it has scanned your computer and asks you to download a software.
  5. If an attempt is made through e-mail the message is not addressed to the user receiving the mail instead it would be like to the account holder, dear customer, etc.
  6. As you can see in the above image this is on a web browser, it is not on screen from my computer but the website designer makes it look like my computer.
  7. Injecting fear into the users mind and prompting ‘Buy it right now’, a genuine antivirus always lets you download a free version before you buy it.
  8. If your system has been infected, the Fake AV would slow down your system.
  9. Other signs of infection include new  wallpaper, new desktop icons, change of your default homepage, even when you are not online pop-up alerts may appear.

To close the pop-up
If you come across a pop-up claiming you are infected, what would you do? Close it by clicking on "X" ? that would be your first and the last mistake. Don't click on "No" or "Cancel" or even "X" on the top right corner of the pop-up. If You click it you will open the door to malware as some of the malwares are designed in such a way that any of those buttons can activate it. What should you do then? First close the browser, then If you using windows:

  1. Press Ctrl + Alt + Del and open the task manager.
  2. Scroll down the dialog box and find the name of the pop-up window and select it.
  3. After you have selected it, click on the end task.

If you using Mac press Command + Option + Q + Esc to force quit.

Fake Antivirus prevention tips

  1. Think before you click on a link.
  2. Don’t open an email attachment unless you are sure about the source.
  3. Do not click on the pop-ups alerts.
  4. Use browsers like Mozilla which block the pop-ups. For Mozilla, go to tools -> options. Click on the content tab, and uncheck  Enable JavaScript.
  5. Check out the list of Fake Antivirus to be aware of them.
  6. Do not download freeware unless you are sure about the source.
  7. Check on search engine before downloading anything.
  8. Keep your antivirus updated. Also use a good firewall.
  9. If your antivirus software does not include antispyware software, you should install separate software with antispyware support.
  10. Turn off ActiveX and scripting or prompt their use thus if you visit a compromised website accidently this would not allow the scripts to run.
  11. Disable JavaScript on adobe acrobat reader. To do this, click on Edit -> Preferences -> JavaScript and uncheck Enable Acrobat JavaScript.
  12. Regularly scan and clean your computer.

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