How To Avoid Fake Antivirus Software?

 How To Avoid Fake Antivirus Software?

Every computer/laptop user must have an antivirus program installed on his/her system. However, while trying to get such a program for your computer, what if you become a victim of a fake antivirus program? And, how can you distinguish between a legitimate antivirus and a fake one? In case you find out that there is a fake antivirus software installed on your computer, what should you do? In this article, we shall see the answers to all of the above questions. Most importantly, we will see how to avoid fake antivirus software. The Internet is used by all kinds of people, including fraudsters, hackers, and others who target vulnerable users. Such people make use of malicious tools, such as viruses, worms, Trojans, spyware, and other such malware to trick you into parting with essential data. A fake antivirus belongs to one of these malware types. These fake antivirus software are designed by some clever people, who pass them as legitimate antivirus software.If you accidentally download and install a fake antivirus program on your device, it will not detect and eliminate the harmful viruses on your system. And, the fake software will not stop with that. It will create havoc on your computer and lead to several other complications. Such programs always want a piece of your personal information. So, fake antivirus programs might result in fraud, identity theft, and other types of stealthy activities.Let us now see how to identify and then avoid fake antivirus software.

Differentiating Between Legitimate And A Fake Antivirus Program

A fake antivirus program will belong to one of these two types:

  • A legitimate antivirus program that’s modified into a fake one.
  • A program that’s designed from scratch to act as a fake one.

To avoid purchasing fake antivirus software, you need to get the software from a reputed and trusted company, such as McAfee, Kaspersky, Norton, etc. Also, you have to buy the software from a reputed outlet or the official website. Computer users might suddenly see an antivirus pop-up window on their screens, which would claim that their systems have been infected and so they need to take immediate action to get rid of it. Usually, the users would see a Click Here button or some similar methods that will ultimately result in installing the fake antivirus.Less tech-savvy people would easily be tricked into installing such fake antivirus on their systems. The fake antivirus program’s pop-up would not have appeared on your computer if you already have a legitimate antivirus installed on it.Users tend to click on the links in the fake pop-up window. This action will redirect them to some other malicious website. Otherwise, when people try to close that pop-up window, more pop-ups would appear. These pop-ups would lead the user to more issues, such as lock-ups, slow-downs, and compromised personal (especially financial) information.

How Fake Antivirus Programs Work?

  • Any virus or malware that has crept into your computer will function the same way as it would have if your system had been infected by other means rather than a fake antivirus program.
  • If you become aware that you have unknowingly installed a fake antivirus program on your computer, then you have to try and remove it. However, the problem is more complicated if you don’t know that you have installed the fake software on your system. Usually, fake antivirus programs act in a way such that they get more money from you for your subscriptions.
  • There is yet another important aspect here. Fake antivirus programs might also serve as Trojans, which would result in the download of more malware onto your system.
  • Now, continue reading to know how to avoid fake antivirus software.
  • In case you find that your antivirus software is “detecting” new infections very frequently, you can be sure that there is something fishy going on.

What Are The Important Signs To Look For?

The following signals would help you become aware that there is a fake antivirus on your system:

  • You find that there is some antivirus program on your computer, which you don’t remember installing yourself.
  • You are unable to shut down or uninstall the antivirus software on your system.
  • Your antivirus keeps on recognizing some issue or the other.
  • The issue that the software detects can only be resolved by buying an upgraded subscription or purchasing any additional software.

Other Signs That Might Indicate You Have A Fake Antivirus On Your System

  • Frequent slow-downs and lock-ups.
  • Unusual (and frequent) display of pop-up ads.
  • Strange toolbars added to your web browser.
  • Homepage that is hijacked in your browser.

How To Get Rid Of The Fake Antivirus?

The very first step you must take is to research your fake antivirus. In many cases, a system restore, or a factory reset of your computer will do the trick. These actions will help you get rid of the fake software.If the system restore, or factory reset did not resolve the issue, then follow these steps:

  • First, perform a back-up of all the files on your system.
  • Format your hard drive.
  • Reinstall your operating system and your programs.
  • Copy all the backed up files onto your system.

Finally, you will have a clean system that works much better than it did before.You have now learned how to avoid fake antivirus software.

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