|One Step Ahead
May 21, 2013,
Volume 59, No. 33
Another tip in a series provided by the
Offices of Information Systems & Computing and Audit, Compliance & Privacy.
Protecting Yourself from Rogue AntiVirus Warning Scams
You’re cruising the Internet when a window titled “Win7 Internet Security 2012” pops up warning you of several viruses on your computer. Another official looking window indicates your AntiVirus (AV) software is not enabled and you’re encouraged to purchase the AV software that detected the “infection.”
Sound familiar? Unfortunately, these types of scams, designed to scare you into buying and installing fake antivirus products, are all too common. If you fall for this, not only will you waste your money on a bogus product, you may also be putting your data and your computer at risk of an actual virus.
We recommend the following:
1. Take steps to stop these rogue AV programs from ever getting to your computer.
a. Ensure your computer’s operating system software is set to automatically download and install updates to keep your system up-to-date with security fixes.
b. Make sure your operating system’s firewall is turned on.
c. Install Penn’s supported AV Software, Symantec Endpoint Protection (SEP). It’s free—for both your work and personal machines—and it guards your computer against a host of viruses and malware. You can download it at: www.upenn.edu/computing/product/
2. Know how to differentiate an illegitimate antivirus program from a legitimate one. Many fake AV scams will send repeated messages for additional payments to stay up to date. With SEP for example, once you install the software, it automatically updates, without any need for payment.
3. In the event you find your machine is infected, contact your Local Support Provider (LSP). Your LSP may use Windows Defender or another reputable malware removal tool like Malwarebytes to scan for and remove rogue software.
Rogue AV Software can be a nuisance, a waste, and in some cases dangerous to your computer and your data. It only takes a few simple steps to stay safe. Stay One Step Ahead as you navigate the information super highway.
For additional tips, see the One Step Ahead link on the Information Security website: www.upenn.edu/computing/security/