I recently had a conversation with a friend, who was new to computers, and he commenced explaining to me how he was suddenly interrupted during a computer session by Microsoft Security Essentials 2010 and was requested to provide his credit card number to unlock the full version. He further explained that his computer was not functioning properly, so he proceeded to make the purchase for the unlocked version. Upon hearing this, I had to regrettably tell him that his computer was infected with malware (a virus) and that he had been robbed and to contact his credit card company immediately. His jaw dropped and said, “you are kidding me, right?”. First off, my friend was wrong in telling me that it was “Microsoft” Security Essentials 2010″, when in fact it was the rogue (fake) malware package called “Security Essentials 2010”.
Folks, know your (legitimate) software on your computer and how to spot the badware (malware). Yes, Microsoft does make a package called Microsoft Security Essentials (without the 2010 attached to the name) which is a very good security product designed to protect you from malware, viruses, spyware, etc… HOWEVER, it is totally free and they will never ask for your credit card number. As a matter of fact, any appearance of persistent unknown security alerts (or software) that suddenly appear on your computer (that looks real) and prompts you to make payment to fix a problem is the first clue that your PC is infected. These fake security programs will intentionally render your PC useless, cause data loss and oftentimes is very difficult to remove.
Today, what I would like you to do is learn how to spot the badware and one of the best places to do that is at 411-Spyware.com.
The author of 411-Spyware.com (Kristopher Dukes) has compiled quite a collection, with pictures and all, of FAKE security products that are engineered to instill fear, cause havoc and steal from you. Not only does she provide you with the visual experience, she also provides removal instructions and suggested software to assist with the removal process. The one thing I want you to look at with some of these, is the complexity of the removal process, which literally can take a computer tech hours to resolve; with the worse case scenario being a complete system restore.
Most likely, in the scenario that I provided that involved a friend, I’m going to go out on a limb here and say he was porn surfing… If you porn surf, pirate software, do peer2peer sharing and go click happy on any link that comes your way; then be forewarned, you will become a cybercrime victim, just like my friend.