What is scareware?
Scareware has emerged in the last few years as a new category of malware virus preying on those who are seeking a legitimate virus solution.
How does scareware work?
Scareware providers use aggressive advertising practices to trick users into believing their computer is infected with malware. They then prey on users by convincing them that purchasing their rogue application will get rid of the virus.
One tactic scareware criminal’s use is to redirect web traffic from compromised websites. Another is to use scareware pop-ups on popular websites – a tactic known as ‘malvertising’.
Some scareware criminals go as far as making professional websites that use search engine optimisation tools to trick google and other search engines into giving them top rankings.
What does scareware do to my computer?
Some scareware virus software prevents legitimate antivirus software from working. It may prevent your antivirus software from automatically updating.
Scareware may be very difficult to remove. Some scareware virus software uses ransomware, demanding a purchase in order to remove it.
Virus infection warnings
Scareware criminals use deceptive advertising practices and often use scaremongering tactics. This is why you should always avoid clicking on unknown links that include virus infection warnings or otherwise tell you that your computer has a virus. Virus infection warnings might include:
- Warning: Your computer is infected!
- Computer virus detected!
- You have a virus!
- Viruses detected on your system!
Always use a free online scanner from an experienced security software company such as Kaspersky Lab to check your computer.
Fake antivirus comparative reviews
One popular social engineering tactic is for scareware criminals to use fake comparative reviews that show the rogue software outperforms software from leading security companies.
But the best way to avoid scareware is to actually use proven internet security software or antivirus software from one of the leading, experienced security software companies.