For over the past four years, millions of internet users have come under siege from “scareware.” Cyber-criminals who use this type ofrogue software as part of their online scams have successfully generated potentially incredible amounts of income over those years.
Scareware is scam software that contains malicious payloads and are delivered to users through pop-ups. The name “scareware” comes from the method these pop-ups use to infect personal computers. They try to sell a false product, usually in the form of anti-virus program to a user through scare tactics. For example, a pop-up will claim, “your PC may be infected with viruses,” and will offer to sell an anti-virus software. Another example are those pop-ups that put up porn images on the user’s screen and force them to pay up in order to remove them.
Users will encounter scareware on malicious websites and once they appear they will not go away until the user buys into the scam by following its instructions, usually by clicking it. Once clicked on, the scareware will infect the PC with its malicious payload that includes viruses, spyware, and more malicious programs. What’s worse is that some scareware don’t require the cooperation of the user and can infect the PC automatically as soon as they appear on the screen or “pop-up on the screen.”
So how do you protect yourself from such a threat? The most recommended action is to install a legit and powerful anti-virus software on your computer and keep it updated every time you use the computer. It also helps to avoid pop-up ads that don’t appear legit especially those who offer a service that sounds to good to be true.