What is Scareware? How to Avoid Scareware?

What is Scareware?

Malicious computer programs designed to trick a user into buying and downloading unnecessary and potentially dangerous software, such as fake antivirus protection.

Scareware is a type of malware designed to trick victims into purchasing and downloading useless and potentially dangerous software.


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Examples of Scareware:

Here is one example of a scareware

scareware product called “SystemSecurity”, and how it tries to frighten people with a fake Blue Screen of Death.

Here is another scareware example where a web page pretends to be your Windows Explorer screen.

Smart Fortress is another example of scareware. It is basically a website that scares a user by bombarding constant warning notifications that there are lots of viruses in their PC.


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How Does Scareware Attack People?


Accessing your credit card:

Scareware will deceive you into paying money for fake antivirus software.

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Identity theft:

Scareware will surreptitiously invade your computer and attempt to record your keystrokes and banking/personal information.

“Zombie” your computer:

Scareware will attempt to take remote control of your machine to serve as a spam-sending zombie robot.


How to Avoid Scareware?

Don’t click anywhere on pop-up ads or dialogue boxes. The window may have a ‘clickjacking’ feature that launches a malware download or directs you to a malicious website if you click on the X or Cancel to close the window.

Don’t download anything from a source you haven’t researched and whose trustworthiness is unknown.

Make sure you have a real antivirus software on your machine.

Read email in plain text. Avoiding HTML email is not cosmetically pleasing with the all the graphics taken out, but the spartan appearance circumvents fraudware by displaying the suspicious HTML links.


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