Rogue security sites sully search results

Rogue security sites are Web sites that claim to offer you security software, but could infect your computer with viruses, spyware, or other malware. These fake sites try to scare you with pop-up windows and warnings that your computer is unprotected and that you need their software to protect yourself. If you follow this blog, you know that rogue security software is on the rise.

Cyber criminals who build rogue security software sites are finding ever more creative ways to get you to browse to them. Purveyors of rogue security software have started using malicious tactics to get these sites to appear as the top results in popular searches on search engines. This is known as search engine spamming or “spamdexing.”

So, be careful when you search the Web for popular topics or recent news events. If you see a pop-up window that tells you that your computer is infected, don’t click it. Instead, do a scan with antivirus and antispyware software such as Microsoft Security Essentials .

Here are a few other ways to protect your computer from rogue security software:

  • Install a firewall and keep it turned on.

  • Use automatic updating to keep your operating system and software up to date.

  • Install antivirus and antispyware software such as Microsoft Security Essentials  and keep it updated. For links to other antivirus programs that work with Microsoft, see consumer security software providors for Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP
  • If your antivirus software does not include antispyware software, you should install a separate antispyware program such as Windows Defender and keep it updated. (Windows Defender is available as a free download for Windows XP and is included in Windows 7 and Windows Vista.)

  • Use caution when you click links in e-mail messages or on social networking Web sites.

  • Use a standard user account instead of an administrator account.

About the Author
Eve Blakemore

Group Manager, Trustworthy Computing

Eve Blakemore is a Group Manager for Trustworthy Computing who delivers consumer guidance around the latest trends in security and privacy. Eve joined Microsoft in 1998 and has worked in corporate and field roles with Microsoft Learning, US Public Sector, Read more »