What Is Fake Antivirus Software?

What Is Fake Antivirus Software

As we move towards a more internet-focused society, there are many new concerns we must deal with. New processes warrant us to disclose personal details on our computers and all over the web. There is so much information about our personal lives that could be dangerous if it were to fall into the wrong hands.

Hackers are responsible for creating 300,000 new pieces of malware every day. Beyond that, our devices cost a pretty penny and they aren’t something you want to get in trouble with. There are many antivirus programs out there that can help protect us against attacks with cybersecurity and internet security becoming a top issue.

But what about when those dangerous and malicious programs hide under the guise of antivirus software? Here is everything you need to know to keep yourself protected!

What Is Fake Antivirus Software?

This dangerous form of malware tricks the user into thinking that it is legitimate antivirus software. Often, there will be a notification stating that it has found an infection. This is done to scare the user into trusting it.

Some malicious software has become so good you may think it’s from a legitimate company. You may even stumble upon fake McAfee antivirus software.

Fake antivirus software can disable real security software. This makes it even harder to detect and remove. It is one of the largest threats on the web today.

How Do Fake Antivirus Programs Work?

While browsing the web a pop-up message may appear. There are a few different alerts that it may prompt you with. It will usually appear with something to the effect of “your system is at risk” or “scan for viruses.” They may also ask you to update, install, or remove a virus.

These flashy messages may entice and scare you into trusting it and making rash decisions by clicking on their links. However, rogue antivirus software does not have your best interest at heart. It can cause you or your system a great deal of harm.

When you opt to install or interact with rogue security software, it installs malware. Malware is designed to intentionally cause damage to a computer, server, or network. These programs make your system vulnerable and can implement numerous viruses onto your system.

Android users run a higher risk when it comes to dangerous programs. This is because they exist on the platform for a minimum of three years.

How To Avoid It?

These tips and tricks can help you stay safe. Ensuring the safety of your device is key to protecting your personal information.

Enable Firewall

This is an easy way to get an extra layer of security. Firewalls monitor ongoing and outgoing traffic on a network. They follow a set of security rules that allows them to block certain traffic.

Configure Settings

Make sure your antivirus software is performing regular automatic updates. These ensure that you don’t fall victim due to past errors of their systems.

Exclusion Rules

Antispam, antibanner, and other services can help keep fake or rogue antivirus software away from your device. By setting exclusion rules, you’ll have a predetermined selection of sites that you can easily navigate.

Avoid Pop-Ups

Do not click on pop-ups. Dangerous software is often presented to you in the form of a pop-up. Through your browser settings, you can block pop-ups and other suspicious advertisements.

Take Note Of Browser Warnings

Sometimes your browser will notify you if it detects that you are visiting a suspicious site. Once you have been notified, leave the site and take note of how you got there. Avoid going back to similar sites.

Maintain Antimalware Defenses

Regularly utilise your legitimate antimalware software. Keeping it up to date and using it to regularly run system scans for viruses is an easy way to stay safe.

Keep Your System Up To Date

Make sure that your computer is staying up to date. This includes your web browsers, operating system and any applications. Security patches are important in keeping these programs running efficiently and safely.

Avoid Pirated Software

Free always sounds good, right? Not when it comes to important protective software. Avoid these at all costs because they are likely to be rogue programs that make their money from selling your information.

Check Legitimacy Of Your Security Products

Buy legitimate antivirus software from real vendors. Research to find out what products are available for your protection.

Get Help From Professionals

Whether you are a business or an individual, sometimes cybersecurity is best left to the professionals. They have the expert skills to protect your devices and ensure that you aren’t installing malware. 

Be Cautious About Attachments

If you weren’t expecting an attachment, don’t open it. Unknown attachments can contain dangerous elements regarding your device.

Surf Responsibly

Don’t venture onto websites that seem suspicious. Stick to websites that you are familiar with or belong to well-established businesses. 

How To Tell That You Have Been Infected

Do you think you’ve been infected by rogue security software? Every 39 seconds, a hacker is attempting an attack. Here are some key signs that your computer is vulnerable or under attack.

Change In Internet Speed

You may experience reduced internet and system speed. This is likely because the malware is using the internet in the backend, sucking efficiency away from your device and connectivity. Viruses are added onto your system this way.

Homepage Changes

Your homepage is the page that loads when you open your browser. If this has changed, it is an indicator that you have installed malicious software.


Being redirected to sites is an easy way for dangerous software to take you to even more vulnerable places. It will lead you to sites that contain even more malware in hopes that your system will become even weaker.

Random Linking

Some fake antivirus software will even link random words in your browser. These links will lead you to more phishing and undesirable sites.

Increased Pop-Ups

Noticing more pop-ups is a good indicator your system is under attack. These may prompt you to download more malware onto your device. 

What Should You Do If You Fall Victim?

When you have become victim to malware, it can feel overwhelming and frustrating. This intrusive software not only has the potential to steal your information but makes using your device nearly impossible.

Once a rogue security software has a hold of your system, there are some things that you can do to put an end to it.

Ask For Professional Help

Navigating technology can get pretty confusing. If you’re not a pro when it comes to tech you can always get help from a professional. These experts will help you ensure that your safety is restored and that you are back on track for future protection.

Run A Scan On Legitimate Antivirus Software

The key to putting a stop to a virus is to locate the problem. With legitimate antivirus software, you should be able to locate the issue. Depending on the virus type that you have, there are many different routes to take when recovering your computer. 

Staying Safe Online

Cybersecurity is a top concern in our tech-filled world. If you fail to take the steps in protecting yourself, you put yourself at a major risk. Businesses and individuals alike are all susceptible to attacks. 

Need help protecting yourself? Contact us to see what we can do to ensure that you are staying safe.

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