Can Antivirus Software Ever Give My Computer a Virus?

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Obviously, the best way to rid your computer of a virus is to use antivirus software. But have you ever considered that some antivirus software could actually give you a virus? Today, more and more hackers are using scare tactics to fool people into downloading malicious antivirus software from the internet.

These viruses-in-disguise are often referred to as ‘scareware’. If you fall for these scams, your computer could be infected with a dangerous virus.

What is an antivirus scam?

An antivirus scam tricks users into thinking that their computer has a virus. After booting up your computer, an error message will pop up warning you that your computer has a dangerous virus. You won’t be able to exit out of the window (or, if you can, the window will just pop up again). You also won’t have access to your internet browsers or other applications.

The error message often looks like an official Windows notification. It may claim to be part of a Windows Security suite of programs. In reality, this is dangerous malware in disguise. In order to fix this problem, the fake security dialogue box will prompt you to pay for expensive antivirus software using your credit card number and other personal information.

Sometimes, the suggested antivirus software will cost hundreds of dollars and will contribute nothing to the security of your PC. It may automatically sign your card up for a monthly subscription, or even max out your credit cards with hidden charges. Other times, the virus will simply steal your credit card data and leave your computer completely undefended.

In either case, the situation is not good for you. If you want to avoid falling victim to an antivirus scam, follow these tips:

Download trusted antivirus software:

Look at trusted antivirus review websites before you download any program from the internet. These will tell you exactly why you should or should not buy a program, as well as any other information you need to know about a product.

Don’t click on suspicious links

If your computer is telling you to pay for expensive antivirus software, but isn’t letting you access any other part of your system, then you have been infected with a virus, and you should disregard everything that the security warnings say. Don’t click on any links that pop up, and do not enter your credit card information without making sure that you’re on a trusted connection.

Be aware of Google redirects

Some of today’s sneakiest viruses will redirect your Google search results. If you’ve noticed your PC start to slow down, for example, then you may start Googling “good antivirus software” online. Instead of taking you to the normal “good antivirus software” search results, the virus will redirect you to the malicious software that it wants you to buy. Try performing a Google search on another computer to make sure you’re not being duped.

Yes, antivirus software can give you viruses

While some malicious antivirus programs can infect your PC with a virus, you can minimize this risk by following all of the above tips. By only downloading software from websites that look trustworthy and thinking twice before entering your credit card information, you can protect your computer from some of today’s most dangerous virus threats.

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