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No April Fooling: Beware Scareware

You’ve probably heard of ransomware and trojan horse attacks harming computers, but another malicious computer program has been tricking users into buying and downloading dangerous software and compromising their information.

“Scareware” usually appears as a web page pop-up claiming that you have malware, spyware, or other issues with your computer that require immediate resolution. They typically offer a “free” service that claims to fix the issue but instead they infect your computer.

Scareware is after three things:

  1. Your identity. Scareware will install a malicious key logger program on your device to record everything you type. This will give hackers access to your personal information and passwords.
  2. Your credit card information. They’ll ask for it as a method of payment for their anti-malware program, which is worthless.
  3. Your computer. Hackers can use scareware to turn your computer into a “zombie”, using it remotely without your permission to seek out more victims without you knowing.

You can protect yourself from scareware by:

  • Running an antivirus and anti-malware application & keeping those applications up to date
  • Reviewing and removing unwanted bundled software from new computers
  • Being cautious if anyone requests remote access to your computer
  • Back-up your hard drive, in case a hacker wipes or encrypts your machine

If you do get scammed by scareware, give us a call immediately. We can freeze accounts if needed. The easiest way to remove scareware is to use a legitimate anti-virus program. These programs run scans and detect threats to remove malware. Users can also remove scareware malware manually. Find out how here.

Stay safe while surfing the net and always keep your anti-virus ware up to date.