Recently, there campaign group, Get Safe Online, issued a warning to Internet users about the rise of Internet cold-callers who offer to remove viruses from your computer but instead install software to steal personal information. Well, today I experienced something very similar and quite unexpected because I was under a company firewall with a functioning anti-virus software on my workstation.
Basically, such is the nature of these bogus anti-virus scam that it is now being controlled by criminal gangs who appear to be getting smarter by the day and are now employing large number of people to find ways of penetrating computer security and take advantage of the lack of awareness on the part of many users. Whilst doing some research on the Web, a sudden pop-up appeared on the computer screen and instantly all the opened Web browsers disappeared. The pop-up appeared to be from the anti-virus that was originally installed on the machine and it indicated that some virus was detected that needed to be scanned, “click OK to restart computer”.
Once the OK button was clicked, the virus basically found a way of installing itself on my workstation, disabled the task manager and rendered the computer useless so that nothing could be done unless one bought their software. Whilst I would not have made the mistake of clicking on an unknown programme had it been my personal computer, I was tricked by the scareware because I was behind a company firewall that was supposedly completely fool-proof.
The best way to protect yourself against similar scareware tactics is by ignoring any pop-up windows that claim that your computer has been infected no matter how similar there are to professional anti-virus products.Also do not entertain cold-callers who may attempt to sell bogus computer programs and security tools to you.
Do you have any additional advice for computer users?