HOW LEGIT IS YOUR ANTIVIRUS AND HOW SAFE ARE YOU?

mejores_antivirus_gratuitos_2016_0Antivirus software has long been a part of computer security. Its use predates the Internet as it is known today because viruses originally were circulated from computer to computer through the sharing of floppy discs. Having antivirus software is still an important way to help protect a home computer from attacks, but how legit is your antivirus?

Even the most naïve computer user know how computer viruses can destroy ones work in a matter of seconds, hour or even days. The self-replicating programs can wreak havoc in every compute it affects in some cases causing international crisis rumored even to happen. But how well do you understand forms of interchanging viruses and malware and how they work?

It is this inexperienced nature of individuals that cyber-criminals get a larger base of targets to attack and exploit, with the fastest growing attack method: use of fake antivirus software. With this, cyber-criminals can bypass even the most fortified computer protection since the users will invite the malware onto their computers even without knowing.

7283762-it-s-a-fake-stampFake antivirus software is any program that claims to be legit and beneficial, designed to counter malware attack. Instead, the software itself is the malware and therefore causes harm to the computer. Fake antivirus software can do harm in the following ways:

  1. The program does nothing or does a poor job, leaving a computer unprotected and a person paying for nothing.
  2. The program disables real antivirus software programs or prevents itself from being removed by real antivirus programs
  3. The program contains or really is malware itself, causing harm to the computer instead of helping it.

Cyber-criminals who create the fake software play on people’s ignorance about computers. This has made the forms of attacks to evolve from physical breaking-in into computers to the uses of infected bait this is known as social engineering.

computer-infectedHave you ever come across a website that has a flashing advertisement that reads, “Your computer is infected with a virus! Click here to download a certain antivirus?” or a message that reads your android version has expired click to upgrade and your phone starts to vibrate as if it wants to blow up? A knowledgeable computer user knows that an advertisement cannot run a virus scan.

fakeAnother trick that cyber-criminals use is to name their software and use it in the name of a legit and respected product. For example Antivirus 360 instead of Norton 360, and many end up thinking they are receiving the quality product.

The term social engineering usually refers to a digital scam in which the perpetrator ends up with some financial gain. Although part of the trick may result in a damaged computer or software, the main goal is to make money off an attack. This can be achieved by collecting payment for a product that doesn’t exist, or by collecting the credit card information of the targets during the payment process and even stealing information and demanding ransomware.

fakeHaving all this in mind, stopping fake antivirus is quite easy:

  1. Becoming educated on the forms and nature of malwares and how they work.
  2. Not trusting emails from unidentified sources
  3. Determining how a website may be unsafe

 

Having accredited antivirus software installed in an individual’s devices is the safest solution. Most legit antivirus products require a certain period of subscription such as ESET products. As mentioned earlier, some fake antivirus software disrupt the legit antivirus weakening the security and therefore prone to attacks. ESET on the other hand warns its users of harmful website and those that are phishing and look like real websites but are indeed fake. Also, ESET warns of harmful files that are to be downloaded.

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