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Fake virus alerts, also known as scareware, attempt to install malware. The only safe solution is to kill the browser process from Windows Task Manager.

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While browsing the web, you may encounter a window that says a large number of trojans or viruses have been detected. The window may look very official. However, looks can be quite deceiving. If you’re not 100% sure it came from your anti-virus or anti-spyware software, it is probably a fake virus alert, otherwise known as scareware, which is designed to infect your computer.

They’re designed to trick you into clicking so that malware can infect your computer. After the malware has been installed, you’ll be asked to pay anywhere from $50-$100 and up in order to activate software that will supposedly clean your computer. It’s very important not to click anything when you see a fake virus alert.

How to Get Rid of Fake Virus Alerts Safely

When you see one of these fake virus alerts, you may have several options offered to you within the browser. One of the options is usually to install the scareware or to supposedly remove the non-existent virus or spyware on your computer. If you click on the option to install or remove viruses, you’ll do the exact opposite by infecting your computer. If you click on any of the other options, such as “Cancel,” you’ll likely end up installing viruses and spyware anyway. That is why it is no longer safe to use your browser once a fake virus alert has shown up.

The only safe solution to keep your device protected against fake virus alerts is to terminate the browser process from the Windows operating system. That may seem to be a very rash step, but it’s the only way of guaranteeing that your computer won’t be infected. What you’ll need to do is to press the Control key, Alt key, and Delete key all at the same time.

A window will come up with the option to open the Task Manager. Choose the Task Manager. Once the Task Manager comes up, click on the column “Image Name” to sort the processes by alphabetical order. Click on the name of your browser (eg. explorer.exe or firefox.exe) and then press the “End Process” button. A warning will come up, but you should select “Yes” to that prompt in order to kill the web browser.

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Anti-Malware Software and Spyware Removal

Once the browser is gone, you should download anti-malware such as Malwarebytes and run it to make sure your computer is actually clean. If your computer is infected, the malware or virus on your computer will prevent you from downloading or running those types of security software. If you see a page filled with sponsored ads instead of the actual website you want to reach, it’s likely your computer is infected. That means you’ll need to look up information about the malware you have on another system and follow those instructions to disinfect your computer.

Another great source of information on how to stay protected and get rid of scareware is BleepingComputer. They have an extensive spyware removal section which covers many widely distributed spyware. It’s a great place to go when you’re looking for a spyware specific removal tool to download.

The best thing to do when you see a virus alert is to not panic. If you’re not one hundred percent sure that it’s from your normal security software, do nothing other than kill your web browser. That’s the best way to keep your computer safe from malicious software.

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