How To Protect Yourself Against Scareware?


Make sure you have up-to-date, legitimate comprehensive Internet security software installed on your device. Obtain it from a reliable and trustworthy company, via the official website or a well-known retailer.

- Keep the software up to date, keep your firewall on and run regular scans. This way, you should be alerted to any scareware before you fall prey to its tactics.

- Be vigilant. Any threat of imminent disaster and directions to download the ‘solution’ immediately is almost certainly a scam. Scareware aims to panic you into making a bad decision.

- Stop and think. Follow your instinct. If something feels wrong, it probably is.

- Don’t click anywhere on pop-up ads or dialogue boxes. The window may have a ‘clickjacking’ feature that launches a malware download or directs you to a malicious website if you click on the X or Cancel to close the window. Be especially careful not to click on any ‘download’ button. Instead, save whatever you were working on. Then bring up the Task Manager using Ctrl+Alt+Delete and, under the Applications tab, click on End Task for the program. On a Mac, use Force Quit.

- Block browser pop-ups from automatically appearing. Here’s how to manage pop-ups for Google Chrome, Safari, Firefox and Internet Explorer 11.

- Don’t download anything from a source you haven’t researched and whose trustworthiness is unknown.

Never open file attachments or click on links in unsolicited emails, messages or texts.

- Consider reading emails in plain text (text only) instead of HTML (which allows embedded graphics, stylised and coloured text, tables and links). It may not look as pretty, but plain text exposes suspicious HTML links within emails.

- Don’t open any link or attachment from friends via social networks without checking that it’s genuine.

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