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Overview of fake antivirus (AV) programs

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Problem Overview

Fake antivirus (AV) programs are those that act as though they are helpful, and will help clean your computer of spyware and viruses, when actually they are themselves a virus.


example shows various fake antivirus programs


Some of the most common are:

Antivirus 2009, XP Antivirus, Alpha Antivirus, Cyber Security Antivirus, Windows System Defender, and others.


The best thing you can do is to not click on any buttons asking you to further install, run scans, or block programs. This will only further harm your computer. Close that program by clicking the X on the top right corner of the window.

If you are able, and know how to do this, run "msconfig" and prevent those programs from starting up. Only do this with caution and if you are knowledgable with computers, as you may harm your computer by blocking certain programs.

Additionally, you can run your computer in safemode if you are able. This is often done by repeatedly pressing F5, and then F8 immediately after your inital splash screen.

Finally, make sure your AV is updated and running. You can run a scan with that of your whole system. Some other good, free tools to use online are:

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, Spybot Search and Destroy, SuperAntiSpyware, rkill, Remove Fake antivirus, among others.

If you are unsure about any of these steps or want assistance, feel free to stop in at the ITS Service Center in either CST or Goldstein.