According to Google, many of us are being tricked into downloading fake anti virus software online.
Now most of us while we are surfing the net will at some point have come across a notification telling us that our computer is infected with a virus and urging us to click somewhere in order to get it fixed. Don’t!
Invariably you will be asked to enter your card details to pay for something at some point but all too often these so called anti virus software programmes are not legitimate at all and far from protecting our computers and laptops, actually leave them open to attack.
Once the software is activated hackers basically have a back door into your computer and could perhaps send spam email from your computer or worse, get a hold of your passwords and log in details so they can rip you off.
Google analysed around 240 million web pages over the course of 13 months and discovered that fake anti-virus programmes made up 15 percent of all malicious software.
Most of us are getting wise to the tricks that scammers can play so cyber criminals are trying more and more sophisticated techniques in an attempt to dupe us.
The latest of course is to try and terrify us into downloading an anti virus fix by telling us our computer is infected.
If we hand over our credit card details to pay for it then we are we basically falling right into the hands of the criminals.
“The fake antivirus threat is rising in prevalence, both absolutely and relative to other forms of web-based malware,” said Google in their study.
“Clearly, there is a definitive upward trend in the number of new fake antivirus domains that we encounter each week.
“Surprisingly, many users fall victim to these attacks and pay to register the fake antivirus software. To add insult to injury, fake antivirus programs are often bundled with other malware, which remains on a victim’s computer, regardless of whether a payment is made.”
Google said that more than half of the fake anti virus software comes via adverts online.
If you already have anti virus software installed, which if you haven’t you should do, then why would you need any more?
Security experts are warning us not to click on any pop up links for anti virus software and to make sure our own anti virus software is kept up to date.