Taskbar Warning Signs
Spyware works in a number of insidious ways, and one of those ways is to disguise itself as a perfectly legitimate, safe and honest warning that something, somewhere in your computer, has been compromised or is being threatened.
What most people see is a taskbar warning sign that states, “Your system is probably infected with latest version of Spyware.CyberLog-X.” The taskbar will also state that the risk of such an infection is high, and that it will affect most Windows systems and even tell you what kind of behavior your computer might expect if infected, including that the Spyware.CyberLog-X will monitor your activity, log your keystrokes and track the websites you have visited.
Sounds alarming, doesn’t it? As a result, many users click on the button that asks for an immediate download that will install anti spyware software that will get rid of the terrible attack bug. However, in doing so, those users are actually installing the bug into their computers, not the other way around. Other users have been notified with the following alert: “Critical System Error! System detected virus activities. They may cause critical system failure. Please, use antimalware software to clean and protect your system from parasite programs. Click this button to get all available software.” When you click that button, you’ve just opened the door to not only that particular spyware, but also probably a handful, if not more, others!
Still other users may see a taskbar warning that says, “System Alert: XXXXX”, relating a certain bug name and file extension. It pops up in a legitimate looking Windows box. All of the above bogus warnings will ask you to install either:
Don’t even think about it. Only purchase anti spyware from a reputable software provider. If you are not sure who’s legitimate and who’s not, check for awards displayed on their website and if they’re a Better Business Bureau member.
A good indication of whether or not a website that provides anti spyware is reputable is to ask questions. If they don’t respond, don’t buy from them. If they answer questions via email within 24-48 hours and seem friendly and knowledgeable, and not pushy or impatient with your concerns, they should be okay.
Make sure your antispyware software offers you a spyware removal guarantee. This is important because most companies will sell you a “solution” but after you buy it you’ll find out that their software doesn’t remove your spyware.
Don’t take chances with your computer and don’t download anything if you’re not sure where it came from. Try to avoid downloading extra toolbars, email attachments and forwards when you don’t know who they’re from, music and videos, whenever possible, because that’s how most of the bugs get into your computer in the first place.