What is Scareware and How Can I Keep Myself Safe?

August 23, 2021

What is Scareware and How Can I Keep Myself Safe


With the rise in malicious code and software the past few years it is more important than ever to keep yourself informed and safe. Malware is a general term used to describe all forms of malicious software that is designed to cause harm or exploit devices and networks. Cybercriminals use malware to steal or gain access to private data and other confidential information.This allows cybercriminals to make financial gains by either selling this data, extorting or ransoming it back to the individual. Malware takes many different forms and it is important to be aware of each form in order to understand how to protect yourself. One common form of Malware is called Scareware, we will explore what Scareware is and how you can keep yourself safe in this blog post..If you are interested in reading more about Malware, check out our post on it here.


What is Scareware?


Scareware is a malicious software tactic where cybercriminals try to scare their victims into downloading malicious code a variety of ways. One tactic employed by cybercriminals is to scare their victims into believing that their systems have been infected in order to get them to purchase a fake application. Often scareware scams will have ads that say things like “Warning: Your computer is infected!” or “You have a virus!”. These pop ups will continue to open up on your laptop until you click to register for anti-virus software. These are all fear tactics employed by cybercriminals to get individuals to purchase their fake application or visit malware infected sites. The fake application that is then downloaded by victims is actually malware that will steal the victim’s personal data.


Other tactics employed by cybercriminals include sending out spam emails to distribute scareware. These emails, once opened, also implore the victims to purchase their fake services or applications by employing fear tactics so that the victims feel as though their devices are infected. Of course, these services and applications are actually malware that then steals the personal information of these victims. Furthermore, even giving credit card information to these cybercriminals can be dangerous and can open the door to future identity theft crimes. 


Scareware Prevention


Being educated about scareware will go a long way in helping you to avoid similar schemes and tricks in the future. By being able to recognize when something is a scam, you are able to be more careful in downloading or sharing any personal information with unknown third parties. Don’t click on anything you see before carefully looking and evaluating it for scams. Remember, if it seems suspicious, it probably is. 


From the security side, you can ensure that you have well known and up to date software products and security systems in place to help protect you from malware like scareware. You can use pop-up blockers to help prevent fake antivirus messages from coming up onto your screen. 


Scareware Recovery


If you have accidentally clicked on a scareware link or downloaded malicious software, it is important to get help as soon as you can. Do not wait or avoid the problem as it can turn into a much larger issue down the road. Seek out a third-party solution and find a company that specializes in cybersecurity to help remove any signs of the malware. 


It is also important to ensure that you have the correct cybersecurity plans and protections in place to help keep you safe from malware. 


The best way to keep your devices safe is to implement a security system to protect your devices. Here at CyberUnit we offer all types of protection, from mobile to computer protection plans. We offer customized security plans for individuals and businesses, at a price that’s right for you. We can also help you to check if your devices have been compromised. Contact us today to learn more.


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