Do NOT download “XP Anti-virus”

by Roberta Piket on September 5, 2008

in Tech Thoughts and Tips

When I logged into my myspace account today I was surprised to get hit by several “XP Anti-virus” popups. This is a fake program that actually infects your machine if you choose to install it. Several of our clients have been hit with this malicious piece of spyware  (or “malware”) and unwittingly installed it. So I thought a warning was in order.

This was not just a simple pop-ups that went away when I closed it. I actually could not get the pop-ups to stop or the browser to close until I went into the Task Manager and ended the process from there.

This happened despite the fact that I have all Windows and IE7 updates, and my browser is set to reject most popups. (I subsequently changed my settings to reject all pop-ups and when I logged back in there were no popups.)

DO NOT install anything called “XP Anti-virus”, or “Vista Anti-virus”. There is no such thing. (In fact, you should NEVER download any program or file unless YOU initiated the download and you know what you are trying to do.) If you see pop-ups that look like system messages warnings saying that you have a virus and asking you to download anti-virus software, don’t do it. Windows has no such system messages.

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