Beware of fake security software

Shell Game

photo credit: elmada

I write a similar article every few weeks not because I’m not creative, but because too many people aren’t listening yet. These past few weeks have been awful for folks getting fake security software on their computers. It often times gets on a computer as a result of other things you are trying to download or access including, but not limited to:

  • Free screensavers
  • Free wallpaper
  • Free games
  • Free security software (there are great products available, but make sure you know what you are getting and where you are getting it from).
  • Online credit checks
  • Online gambling
  • Online porn
  • Free music downloads
  • Free movie downloads

What happens is the bad guys have figured out how to take advantage of what is popular at any given time. As you install the programs listed above or access the services listed, you agree to put the junk on your system and it then stealthy slips by any existing security software you do have. If you follow a few simple rules, you can avoid the time, cost and frustration associated with these infections.

  • Stop using Internet Explorer. Instead use Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome
  • Make sure you know what you are downloading is safe or what service you are using is legit. How do you know? Be extremely discerning when looking through search engine results, start at reputable sites (for almost any kind of software downloading, I start at Download.com).
  • If something doesn’t smell right, get out…fast.

Tomorrow, I will discuss what to do if you do get bit.

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