What Is A Fake Antivirus Popup?

Understand the harmful effects of downloading a fake antivirus on your devices.

What is a fake antivirus?

A fake antivirus is a scam created to scare you into giving your money away under the guise of protecting your devices. It often shows up as a popup window warning you that your device has been infected with malware. This popup might say that a scan has been done on your device and has detected viruses that need to be removed

These phony scams are used to convince you to input your information or pay money unnecessarily. Participating in these scams can often cause damage to your computer and devices rather than prevent it. Interacting with these scams can accidentally download spyware or malware onto your device. 

Where do these scams come from?

Fake antivirus scams can come from anywhere. Mainly they arise from online browsing. There are some popular places where cybercriminals will distribute this dangerous malware like:

  • Social media 
  • Internet advertisements
  • Emails, like phishing scams
  • Search engines
  • Other types of internet malware or scams

How do I know if my device has been infected?

There are a few ways to tell if your devices have been affected by malware. 

Frequently malware can cause your computer to run in a way that is unexpected or slow. If your screen is flooded with popups, this could be a sign that you accidentally downloaded a fake antivirus program if your computer is running slowly. If the antivirus causes poor performance on your computer, it’s a sign that it is fake. 

Ensuring you’re downloaded legitimate antivirus software before downloading antivirus software is critical to ensure you are not downloading malware. If the popup has a download link or asks for money. This is one of the most common signs that the antivirus is fake. Legitimate antivirus software would not ask for money in a popup. Do proper research before inputting any payment information if you don’t recognize the software name in the popup. 

How do I remove fake antivirus from my device?

There is a way to remove fake antivirus from your computer. 

  • Formatting your hard drive
  • Reinstalling your operating system
  • Redownloading your backed-up files and programs

There are ways to prevent installing fake antivirus on your devices in the first place. 

  • Avoid opening popups
    • Engaging with popups can sometimes download malware onto your device. Be wary when they appear on your device. 
  • Use a firewall
    • All operating systems come with a firewall to protect your device from attackers. Be sure to enable it. 
  • Ignore suspicious emails
    • Phishing scams can download malware onto your devices, so be aware of what emails you are opening and interacting with. 
  • Invest in antivirus software.
    • Agency offers enterprise-grade cybersecurity to protect you and your family against today’s sophisticated online threats. With 24/7 monitoring backed by a $1m cyber insurance guarantee, your devices will be safe against hackers and attacks. 
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