What is Scareware? Is It Real Or A Scam?
While most of the time that scareware works, it works a little differently than the way we think it does. Like the name suggests, it’s a scareware technique designed to target you. That’s not a scary or mysterious proposition, right? But it is. After all, when you think about an email that promises to give you the number to call for help with your computer, what do you think is going to happen? I’ll tell you what happens.
If you’re a member of the public that isn’t the FBI or another organization with the power to delete what it refers to as malware, then you’re a bit more than just a bit confused.
Worse, if you’re a member of the public that isn’t the FBI or another organization with the power to delete what it refers to as malware, then you’re a bit more than just a bit confused. In short, it’s a scam.
For the record, “malware” is an artificial, hackable security system that uses your computer as a missile to launch on your network. It’s not entirely clear why scareware specifically works, but it appears to be the case that by using their tactics, they’re able to display a malicious screen as if your computer has somehow been infected. In the middle of the screen is what appears to be a fake picture of a doctor giving you a bad diagnosis and directing you to a site where you can buy a special phone that will clean your computer.
Eventually, you have to pay to clean it up.
This is exactly the type of behavior that people have called “spoofing.” Specifically, it appears to be another case where scammers have hijacked the names of legitimate security companies that do a great job of providing educational and potentially life-saving resources. The best way to understand scareware is that there are legitimate scareware techniques, but this is not one of them.
What Should You Do?
If you don’t know what a scareware technique is and you see a pop-up that you’re not sure of, don’t worry about it. You might be playing with a young child and you’ve accidentally activated some kind of “Mario” virus in your home network. Don’t worry about that for now.
The best thing you can do to protect yourself against scareware is to never open a suspicious pop-up. Just quit the program you’re currently using and never open it again.
If you’re reading this article, you probably already know the best defense against a scareware attack
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