OCTOBER 2008

6 Simple Steps to Keep from Falling for Fakes

Rogue security software is here to stay. Why? Because cyber criminals are profiting from unsuspecting computer users.

What can you do to stop the spread of rogues and save your hard-earned cash for genuine programs that protect your PC and personal information? Armed with a little knowledge and awareness of the problem, users will be able to stop falling for these fakes and help to make sure that rogue software vendors stop profiting from their unscrupulous business.

Never pay for malware! Here’s how you can tell what's real and what's not when it comes to security software, so you can keep from buying bogus products.

  1. Do not fall for scare tactics. Not sure what that means? While browsing sites, be cautious of pop-ups warning you that your system is infected and offering a product to clean it up. Never pay for a program that installed itself to your computer. This is a hallmark of rogue software.


  2. Use security software and keep it up-to-date. If you know that you have anti-virus, anti-spyware, and a firewall on your PC, you can safely ignore security alerts you receive that do not come from your chosen security software provider. (Rogue security software will often try to lure computer uses by using legitimate looking pop-up messages that appear to be security alerts.) Also, most anti-spyware programs, like Ad-Aware 2008, will help keep you protected from rogues because they can find and detect these programs.


  3. Access experts at the Lavasoft Support Forums or other security forums and ask about the software you are considering before you decide to purchase it.


  4. Read the software reviews at reputable sites like Download.com. Do not blindly trust individual sites offering security products. You can also refer to reputable lists of trustworthy anti-spyware programs, like the one on SpywareWarrior.com.


  5. Ask knowledgeable friends and family members about quality software they use. Keep in mind that when you search for trustworthy security software online, rogue products can, and often do, appear in the search results list.


  6. Practice online skepticism. Be aware that rogue security software does exist on the Web, and be vigilant about avoiding it. These programs are designed to appear genuine – meaning they may mimic legitimate programs, use false awards and reviews to rope you in, or employ other deceptive tactics. It’s also a good idea to familiarize yourself with common phishing scams, and to be cautious of links in e-mail messages and on social networking sites.

For additional online safety tips to help you securely navigate the Web, visit the Lavasoft Security Center.

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By The Numbers
Of all the rogue security applications in Lavasoft’s Detection Database, approximately 21% of the total in detection has appeared since June 2008. Industry experts have reported a five-fold year-on-year increase in the use of these programs.
Tips & Tactics
Are you planning on getting an early start on your holiday shopping this month? Read the 5 online shopping tactics you should be aware of before breaking out your credit card.
What People Are Saying
"I want to thank you for giving us the right to protect us with the latest solutions."
Nathalie (Dijon, France)
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