Security Software

Security software is one essential step in protecting your computer from harm. Spyware, viruses, trojans, and other malicious software (malware) can seriously compromise your information. Most malware now focuses on silently stealing your information. Malware can take your passwords, usernames, security questions, or other personal information and send them to others, where they may be misused.

Keep in mind that security software is not usually a "set and forget" solution. You have to keep it up to date by maintaining subscriptions, updating the software, and enabling scans. Many times, security software will guide you by presenting plenty of messages when things are wrong. You should pay attention to these messages.

If you ever see warnings from security software that you don’t have installed, this may be a problem called "scareware". These issues are actually the result of malware pretending to be protective software.

Tip: A common scam is for a compromised web page to pop-up fake security warnings. These security warnings may not be from your security software, but may actually be malware pretending to be legitimate. Before you take any action, compare the product name on the pop-up with what you know you have.

If you are affected by malware, you should not use the computer for banking or any other sensitive purpose. Seek assistance from competent computer professionals.

To learn more about security software and malware, visit the Federal Trade Commission's website Onguardonline.

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