A while back I wrote about the “XP Anti=-virus” rogue malware which many of my clients have accidentally installed by visiting an innocent-looking web site. I want to reiterate that you need to be careful what web site you visit, no matter what the source of the link is.
Today a client of mine contacted me because he had followed a link in Google after doing a search. He clicked on the first link, and suddenly pop-ups purporting to be from Windows warned him that he was infected and needed to install some new anti-virus program. Fortunately he had the good sense to close down his computer before anything really bad could happen. As I’ve said before, these pop-ups are NOT legitimate security software. They ARE viruses or spyware. Windows does NOT suddenly scream warnings at you to install software!!
Here are some suggestions for “safe searching”. It’s easy to identify these sites if you are aware of their existence and know what to look for.
Often, a rogue web site is obvious because the English grammar is bad. Another telltale sign is that the terminology (except for the actual search term which is inserted automatically) is completely generic and could apply to any subject.
For example, when I googled my client’s search term, the first listing was: “All-inclusive information regarding (search term). You are able discover some knowledge dealing with (search term) here as well. 163 News.”
You should be running a solid anti-virus program such as Kaspersky, and have either a hardware or software firewall. However, no protection can keep you safe if you willingly infect your computer. There is no substitute for a little awareness and common sense.