The dangers of scareware

After Trojans and Botnets (which we've discussed before), Scareware is the most irritating infection a computer user can receive. What is it and are there any data recovery implications if you become infected?

Scareware works by scaring the infected user into taking action. Ransomware encrypts users' data and demands payment, whereas scareware is nowhere near as intelligent as this. It just relies on a pop-up warning that informs the user of an infection, and then tries to sell them a program that will clean up their machine. It can be incredibly annoying, with pop-ups appearing left, right and center, but most of the time your data won't have been affected.

It can be incredibly difficult to remove the scareware program from your laptop or computer. If you click on the warning, it might disappear, but your computer effectively becomes a zombie machine. If you ignore the pop-up wanring message, it will get so annoying that your machnine will practically be unusable. So what can you do?

These scareware programs can be incredibly well hidden; you might not find it for a while. Even if you think you've found it, you might not have done. It can be very frustrating trying to locate the offending program. Scammers are incredibly skilled at hiding their infected programs from users, but there are measures you can take. First, you should scan your machine with anti-virus and anti-malware programs - an effective one is Malwarebytes. If it doens't work in boot mode, try safe mode.

It's also a good idea to identify what software has been installed without your knowledge. Check reputable websites and forums with your machine's symptoms, and see if you can find any effective solutions from other victims who have been affected,