Fake security software: Know the risks

If you’re browsing the web and you see a security warning, beware. Cybercriminals use fake security warnings (also known as “rogue security software”) to steal personal information or to charge you for a program that doesn’t work.

You should only download software from a reputable source. Microsoft Security Essentials, for example, is a program that can help protect your computer. Download it for free.

To watch a video about the extent of the problem and what Microsoft is doing about it, see Rogue Security Software: Scamming for Money.

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 »

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  1. Anonymous

    i have a vista anti spyware 2012

    does this spyware belong to microsoft.ifnot how does one get rid

    it also shut the microsoft security essential off

    and why dont you publish a list of rogue scams

  2. Anonymous

    all the security software did not a thing for me

  3. Anonymous

    Is it possible that my "McAfee Total Protection" has been hacked? Since the upgraded software was downloaded 3 months ago my PC has been very strange.

  4. Anonymous

    I received the following email:

    and i think its fake should i be concerned! also it was sent to a Gary fouraker but ended up in my email

    Dear Account User

    We are having too many congested email due to the anonymous registration of Hotmail Msn-Live Accounts in our database system. That's why we are asking you to confirm with us your email account, As well as your information. So that your account would still be valuable to you and to us in our database system. Please we are doing this because of security measures. We need you to fill in the information below and get back at us. And in 24hours an email will be sent to you from Windows Live™ on how you are going to secure your email and also change your password. Due to some virus and also password sealer's. Thank you and we wait to receiving your details. Please kindly confirm your account, The following information is needed to verify your account: Your User name, password, date of birth and your country information.

    Click on the reply button and fill in your information:

    * Full Name ………………………

    * User Name ………………………..

    * Password:…………………………….

    * Date of Birth……………………………..

    * Country Or Territory:………………….

    Warning!!! Account User that refuses to update his/her account after 48 Hours of receiving this warning will lose his or her account permanently.


    The Windows Live Team

  5. Anonymous

    My son was online and he suddenly was told his pc was infected , so he downloaded something called windows xp 2012. What he got was a trojan I suppose. He didn't tell me until it had taken over his whole pc. The only way I could do anything was to buy it. Then I was able to do a recovery on his pc. There is no invoice in my email. The key only stayed on the web for a few seconds. I know they only wanted my info. But, I don't know what to do. Anyway , I have warned him to never believe anything like that. He had anti spyware and all he needed . He didn't need what they told him to download. But, he didn't know that. He got scared. I am so angry.

  6. Anonymous

    This morning i received a phone call from (00401 ) telling me that my computer had a virus and they were microsoft and they would like to get access to computer.When I refused the request and said I did not see any virus they hung up.I am informing you as this looks like a scam.


  7. Anonymous

    i have down loaded fake security software i have tried to uninstall it i letit on all night and it justkeeps telling me to let it continue tofinish uninstalling. help please.

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