The most common infection currently is what is known as a fake antivirus infection. It is far more prevalent than any other infection out there for either Windows or Mac OS X. In the previous posts, we explained how to tell if you have a fake antivirus. In this post, we’ll tell you how to protect yourself from acquiring it in the first place.
But I Already Have an Antivirus!
There are many ways to stop a fake antivirus from infecting your computer. However, malware is a very complex thing, meaning you need more than just an antivirus program to keep yourself safe. Not every antivirus product will catch every infection, but having more than one antivirus is bad for your computer. The best way to get around this is to have one active scanning antivirus like Microsoft Security Essentials and supplement that with one or two on-demand scanning anti-malware programs like Malwarebytes.
What Do You Mean I Shouldn’t Go to That Site?
Many computers targeted for fake antivirus malware are being used to do something illegal. For example, if you are downloading free music, watching movies online that are still in the theatres, or going to websites with questionable adult content, you are at a significantly higher risk of gaining these types of infections. People who set up the fake antivirus to download when you visit those types of websites are very aware that you probably will not try to report them, as you are also doing something illegal yourself. By doing that and adding in the scare tactics commonly used to trick you into purchasing the fake antivirus, they have a winning combination.
I Hate Doing Updates!
There are three reasons companies put out updates for their software programs: to fix a programming bug, to add new features to the product, and/or to fix a security hole. When something asks you to update Java or Flash or even Windows, we highly recommend that you do those updates. If you are concerned that what is popping up is not coming from the actual software, you can always go to the manufacturer’s website and download the update from there. By not doing updates, you are potentially leaving yourself open to threats that might not have been around yesterday but are knocking at your door today.
Is This Safe?
The best defense against this and any other infection is knowledge. It is always better to avoid getting the infections in the first place than clean them off after they have already caused trouble. We know you’ve heard us mention looking before you click, but what happens when you’re not sure if something is safe or not? For that, we are happy to help you out. If there’s something you’re not sure is legitimate or not, go ahead and call us during our normal business hours and we’ll do our best to steer you in the right direction. As always, trust your gut and if you’re not sure, don’t do it.