Viruses of any type are annoying. However, viruses that disguise themselves in the form of bogus antivirus software are particularly irritating. Today, we’re going to teach you how to spot these threats and eliminate them from your PC in order to speed up your computer.
Spotting fake antivirus alerts
Bogus antivirus software alerts can be installed on your PC by spyware and other forms of downloaded applications. In some cases, the creators of the bogus antivirus software may have created an entire website based around the product, luring unsuspecting users into downloading the program. In most cases, however, the fake antivirus software is just one element of a more widespread virus attack.
Spotting a fake antivirus alert is easy as long as you’re prepared for it. Viruses like this prey on unsuspecting, unaware users who are used to simply clicking through alerts and virus updates from their antivirus software. Since the fake antivirus software often disguises itself in the default Windows theme and coloring, it’s easy to be fooled.
The most important element to spotting fake antivirus alerts is to be aware of which programs you have on your computer. If you know the exact name of the antivirus software you have installed, don’t click on notifications from pop-ups under anything but that name. For example, if you use an antimalware program like PC Cleaner Pro to guard your computer against viruses, don’t trust a pop-up that comes from another program, no matter how legitimate that program appears to be.
Eliminating rogue PC security software
Once you’ve foiled the fake antivirus program’s attempt to lure you into its trap, it’s time to eliminate it from your system. To do this, perform a scan with antivirus software you trust. Or, if you know the name of the rogue antivirus software, Google it to see how other users are handling the situation.
The problem with rogue PC security software is that it often infects your system before the alerts pop up. Sometimes, it will lock you out of performing an antivirus scan, or from opening any program other than the fake antivirus software. If this is the case, then simply try restarting your PC. In some cases, the fake antivirus notifications will not immediately appear upon startup, giving you the opportunity to delete it from your system.
If the rogue antivirus software is persistent, then you may need to start Windows in Safe Mode. Hold F8 during your computer’s startup phase and then select the ‘Boot in Safe Mode’ option. This will prevent the virus from running while allowing you to open your antivirus software program, or to install a legitimate antivirus program from a USB stick or a CD/DVD.
Don’t fall for the tricks
Fake antivirus software is very clever. It uses your guilt and insecurity to worm its way into your system’s security. For example, some fake antivirus alerts notify users that a recent pornography download has caused harm to their PC, or that a recent torrent download has infected their system. In reality, the virus doesn’t know either of those things about you. Instead, it assumes that many Windows users will download either pornography or torrents on a regular basis, and that this will appear as a legitimate threat to their system’s security.
There are hundreds of rogue security programs roaming around the internet today. Wikipedia has compiled a full list of them here. Take a glance through that list and you’ll see that most of these dangerous programs have innocent sounding names.