What’s up with “scareware?”

Fear is used, universally, as a means to control people. Governments use it. Large businesses use it. So it should come as no surprise to anyone that “cyber bad guys” us it. Why do they use fear… Because it is is effective!

I often ask myself who comes up with terms like “scareware?” Talk about a self-fulfilling prophecy.

“Scareware” is, at its core, a Trojan horse. In most cases, the “malicious security software” that plagues computers around the world is willingly installed by the victims themselves. The purveyors of these threats, in many cases, get their victims to pay for the software under the guise that it is, itself, software designed to protect the user.

The easiest and best way for people to avoid falling victim to these types of attacks/threats is to use common sense.

  • Don’t install software unless you can verify its  source is legitimate and reputable.
  • Before installing any new software on your computer,  make sure your anti-virus software is enabled and its definitions are  up-to-date.
  • Whatever you do, don’t disable your anti-virus  software. No legitimate software should ever require such an action.
  • Finally, before installing any new software, make sure  your important files have been backed-up to a location off your  computer.

In the end, even people who follow all the best security practices sometimes still get hurt by malicious software. However, by following the 4 steps mentioned above, your risk of getting burned is greatly reduced, and even if you do get burned, at least your will not loose your data.

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