Explanation and meaning of the term “Scareware”
The term “scareware” refers to the type of malicious software that cybercriminals use when they want to lead users to visit malicious websites. This type of deceptive software usually comes in the form of pop-up windows that the user clicks on. Through scareware, hackers use a strategy of fear where through pop up windows they send messages to the user that their system is infected and that it is necessary to install a certain antivirus to remove the alleged virus from the system. Cybercriminals hope that this strategy will lead users to buy and install fake antiviruses that will allegedly delete the virus. In fact, downloading an anti virus is usually useless, and in some cases it can be a threat and malware.
Examples of Scareware
In order for fraudsters to persuade you to click on a pop-up, they usually offer a solution to the imaginary problem they scared you with in the content of the pop-up window like:
- Ransomware – When the user wants to download a program from the Internet, a pop-up window appears and locks the computer screen and system. After that, a message from the screen says that it is necessary to pay in order for the system to be released again;
- Spyware – Spyware is used to illegally collect private information and user behavior information. On the Internet, spyware most often appears as: adware, various types of tracking and trojans;
- Scamware – As the word itself suggests, it is a scam, when the user is offered alleged software solutions that promise: fast system performance, removal of alleged viruses from the computer and other types of optimization of the user’s device;
- Spear phishing – it is a situation where fraudsters target a particular individual or organization via email trying to persuade them in various ways to access an infected link. They often present themselves falsely on behalf of the user’s organization or other organizations known to the user.
All four tactics can be very dangerous to the security of the user’s system. Therefore, the best protection against such attacks is online browsing with special care.
Scareware Prevention – How to stay protected?
As in the fight against other threats on the Internet, there are proven ways to reduce the risk of attacks and improve the security of your personal data. You will improve your protection with the following tips and measures:
- Use proven anti virus software – when you use proven anti-virus protection you reduce the risk of unnecessary exposure to harmful software. That’s why it’s highly recommendable to find a good quality anti virus solution and always keep up to date with the latest version;
- Responsible browsing – when surfing online, be careful which pages you visit. Stick to verified websites and try not to click on the different types of notifications that pop up. If a page or content seems too naive to be true or suspicious, leave it;
- Different types of cybersecurity tools – in addition to a good antivirus, experts recommend using everything available from the system to reduce the risk of scareware and other cyber attacks. Set up options in windows and firewall, install add ons in your browser such as ad blocker or various URL filters;
- Use of proven software – when you want to download a program, always search the Internet for the best solutions and stick to well-known program names to make sure it is verified software.
The above precautions and measures are crucial in safe browsing on the Internet and their application will certainly reduce the risk of various types of cyber attacks, regardless of the threats.
Scareware Removal and Recovery
Although we have explained to you that you need to be careful when browsing online and what specifically to avoid, it can happen that you nevertheless end up in a situation where your system is infected. It is important that you notice certain anomalies as soon as possible and take steps to remove the malware. Try to google the problems that happen to you to see if there is anyone with similar anomalies who managed to get rid of the virus. Also explore which anti-virus solution can identify and remove the threat. If you still can’t remove the virus, seek the help of an IT expert who will explain in detail how to remove the threats and ensure the normal functioning of the system.
When you manage to remove malware make sure that your software is key, the operating system is updated.
Potential scareware attacks are not uncommon on the internet. You can quickly compromise your cyber security if you are not careful and adhere to the above guidelines. Therefore, do not hesitate to seek help from proven experts for safe use and browsing the Internet.