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Scammers and hackers like to trick people into their scams by launching annoying popup attacks that force users to download malware disguised as an antivirus. However, there are simple ways to protect yourself.
The modus operandi is this: say you’re browsing a random website, and a message suddenly pops up warning that your computer is infected with a deadly virus and you need to go to their website and download the proper antivirus software. If you close the window, another appears, saying the same message, and this happens over and over again until you visit their site.
Naturally, the antivirus they want you to download is fake. The file is usually some sort of malware that doesn’t solve your problem, but compounds it.
The key is to address this without having to download anything or visit any suspicious sites. When the popup problem, well . . . pops up, simply press ALT+F4 on your keyboard to force your browser to close, or go to the Task Manager (CTRL+ALT+DEL) and close your browser there. That usually does the trick. Of course, you will need to start a new browser session or else risk going back to the same site the popup attack came from in the first place
Another technique scammers use to deceive users into going to their websites is to use a hot news item or trending topic as a lure to get you there. To avoid this, just notice what website you’re going to before you click a link, and only go to websites and news websites that you trust.
It’s admittedly a bit of effort on your part to avoid getting scammed or hacked, but it’s a lot more inconvenient if your system becomes majorly messed up by malware. If you want to know more about staying safe from rogue antiviruses and other forms of malware, give us a call and we’ll be happy to discuss genuine antivirus protection with you.
Published on 11th October 2010 by Jeanne DeWitt.