Rogue software or "scareware" is fake antivirus or security software. Cyber criminals usually try to get you to install it by generating pop-up windows that advertise security update software. These windows might appear on your screen while you surf the web. Rogue security software might report a virus, even though your computer is actually clean. Inversely, when you download rogue security software, it will install a virus or other malicious software (malware) on your computer.
Some rogue security software might also:
- Lure you into a fraudulent transaction (for example, upgrading to a non-existent paid version of a program).
- Use social engineering <https://www.microsoft.com/security/resources/socialengineering-whatis.aspx> to steal your personal information.
- Install malware that can go undetected as it steals your data.
- Launch pop-up windows with false or misleading alerts.
- Slow your computer or corrupt files.
- Disable Windows updates or disable updates to legitimate antivirus software.
- Prevent you from visiting antivirus vendor websites.
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