How to prevent “Scareware” (Rogue Antivirus)
Practically all my service calls the last two months have been due to Scareware related issues. Rogue anti-virus programs that claim every program is infected and that for some amount of money your computer can be secured. Unfortunately, the scareware program IS the infection and your money is sent immediately to some far off country while little if any relief is provided for your payment. It is a scam. And the worst part of it is you no longer have to be surfing the seedier side of the Internet to become a victim!
The authors are actually paying people to infect you, which means it is being included in blogs, forums, even websites you actually pay to use. Typically they rely on your trust of a website to open up the security of your web-browser, to drop your guard, to OK a download.
Whether you use Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox, there are now add-ons that disable Ads and scripts until you tell the add-on the website is ok. Usually they will add a notification bar or an icon in your browser to alert you that a script was stopped. At that point you have a decision to make. Do you really need to see what is missing (for example, are you trying to Buy something but there is no Buy Now button, are pictures missing you wish to see etc.) If you said yes, you would then use the Add-On to Authorise that website only. When you authorise that website, make sure you only allow that specific domain-name, so for this website, if you want to see all the little bells and whistles of this blog you would only authorize www.memphispcguy.com. Generally you can trust the primary domain name, but not some stranger domain or 3rd party site. Of course, you will be blocking Banner Ads and Google Analytics that may cost the website owner some income, but considering the cost of cleaning scareware it is a small price to pay until something better comes along.
The use of noscript add-ons will take some getting use to as you will be required to assess the websites worthiness before allowing it to fully present itself and if your tweenager comes behind you and disables it entirely you may be no better off, but as far as pandemics go, scareware is the latest online scourge and we have to do something.
More Advanced users may be interested in OpenDNS. It replaces your Internet Service Providers Domain Name Servers. With a free account you can have it redirect/block porn, piracy and virus websites. Like anything there is a slight learning curve and some advertising from OpenDNS themselves, but if set up correctly it will help protect your entire open network rather well.
This article could go on and on, there are as many security solutions as there are scareware variations, but I had to start somewhere and I prefer it not to be at your house trying to save your data.
Memphis PC Guy