Cyber Security Tip #16

Beware of Rogue Anti-Virus Software

Rogue software or “scareware” is fake antivirus or security software. Bad guys usually try to get you to install it by generating a pop-up window as you surf the web. The “updates” or “alerts” in the pop-up windows call for you to take some sort of action, such as clicking to install the software, accept recommended updates, or remove unwanted viruses or spyware. When you click, the rogue security software downloads to your computer.

Here’s some ways to apply computer security best practices that will help protect your machine and minimize any potential impacts:
1. Don’t click on pop-up ads that advertise anti-virus or anti-spyware programs
2. Don’t download software from unknown sources.
3. Use and regularly update firewalls, anti-virus, and anti-spyware programs.
4. Patch operating systems, browsers, and other software programs.
5. Regularly scan and clean your computer.
6. Back up your critical files.

Take Microsoft’s Real vs. Rogue quiz: to help you tell if a security warning is from your real antivirus software or from rogue security.

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