Millions have fallen for it, have you? Online criminals are laughing all the way to the bank.
A. Scareware refers to fake sales tactics intended to scare users into thinking their PCs have critical errors/viruses that need to be secured right away. Scareware offers an immediate solution (at a price of course) as a software download. More often than not this installs some kind of spyware or malware onto your PC. This software can make you more vulnerable to fraud and identity theft.
Protect yourself and your PC:
- Don’t click on any pop-ups or ads on websites that mention critical errors/viruses and the like. Even if they say they’re from Microsoft or other well known service providers.
- Purchase reputable software like ZoneAlarm (info here, call Software Paradise on 0800 289 041 to purchase).
- It takes some common sense as these cyber criminals need you to get what they want, be it credit card details, passwords etc.
- These scams can even appear on trusted sites like Google and Twitter – so be wary of everything you click on.
- Keep your operating system and antivirus protection up-to-date.
- If you do receive a scareware pop-up don’t click on it to close it. Use your task manager instead.
Top in IT security headlines has been the threat of ’scareware’. Symantec released a report this week stating that over 40 million people have fallen for scareware scams in the last year. There have even been reports of cybercriminals holding your computer and data at ransom by locking your PC and demanding relatively small amounts of money to get your data and control back. Because the amounts of money are small it is believed that there are many cases out there that have gone unreported.
In the current climate people are increasingly worried about online fraud, identity theft and hackers. This is why scareware scams are on the increase – online criminals know they work.