Don't become a victim of bogus antivirus programs

Feb 26, 2010 - by Ian Hasell

 

There have been a lot of bogus virus alerts doing the rounds lately. These programs are designed to look genuine and appear to be helpful by bringing up warnings on your computer about infections. It's vital to be alert and not always take these warnings on face value. The alerts are often traps to make you click on a link to download something far more undesirable or worse still to try to make you pay for something you don't need whilst obtaining your card details!

So what should you look out for?

Well firstly you must make sure you already have up-to-date antivirus protection. The better known products are ESET Nod32,  F-Secure, Norton and McAfee. If the pop up you are getting doesn't look like a pop up from your regular antivirus that is the first clue. Watch out for warnings such as the following:

Bogus computer virus scan

At first glance this looks like a genuine Windows alert. If you look closely you'll notice it's actually a web-page pretending to show information about your computer.

Prompts

If you're prompted to download or install anything you don't recognise, don't do it! You may see something like this, posing as Antivirus 2007 or Antivirus 2009. Click the red cross on the top right or click Cancel.

You really know that it's not genuine if you get this pop up. Note that it says Message from webpage at the top. Close the message with the red cross at the top right.

What to do next

Make sure your virus software is completely up to date and run a full virus and spyware scan. This should search out anything that could be on your machine that shouldn't be. Once the scan is finished it will let you know if any viruses were found and will usually ask you if you want to remove it.

If after this you're still not totally sure that everything is OK and would like us to give your machine a check-over please contact us and we'll be happy to help.