By Praveen Kannan and Anna Strokolyst The Hotspot Shield team believes the internet should be open and secure …
There may have been a few instances when, while you were browsing your favorite website, a window suddenly popped up in the middle of your session, saying that your device has been infected with some sort of virus or malicious software. Most likely, the prompt then offered a free scan of your device, saying that you can avail it by clicking on the accompanying button or link.
It’s easy to identify these alerts as fake. For those of you who have fallen for these kinds of alerts, you may have installed rogue security software on your device.
What is rogue security software?
Rogue security software refers to malicious software posing as genuine software, which use misleading or faulty alerts to scare you by telling you that your computer is infected, even though it really isn’t. These kinds of software deceive you into thinking that installing them on your device can help you keep it free from viruses and malware.
However, it’s the opposite. What rogue security software programs actually do is stay in your system to generate more fake alerts about your device being infected, luring you into finally buying a fake solution or paying for an upgrade. In short, these programs want you to pay for the extraction of malicious software that don’t even exist in your system.
There are many ways rogue security software can enter your system. They could come in the form of pop-up alerts as we mentioned earlier, or they could also be acquired through browser extensions, through files that you get from peer-to-peer sharing sites, codec required to play audios and videos, or even images and links through emails.
One characteristic of rogue security software is that once they penetrate your system, they become almost impossible to root out. Many of their components are seeded to different locations, adopting system-similar filenames and thus making them hard to locate.
How can you protect yourself?
Below are a few tips on how you can protect your device from rogue security software:
- Keep antivirus and antimalware updated – Keeping your antivirus and antimalware updated makes it easier for them to protect your system, especially against newly identified malware threats.
- Be wary of fake virus alerts – Fake virus alerts like the abovementioned pop-up alerts are among the various entry points that rogue security software uses to get into systems. Signs of a fake virus alert include wrong spelling and grammar, as well as low-resolution frames.
- Use caution when you click links in emails or social networking sites – Some links on social media sites and in emails can lead you to pages that automatically install rogue security software into your system. Exercise caution when clicking links.
- Install a VPN that can identify malware attacks – A virtual private network (VPN) such as Hotspot Shield identifies pages containing malicious software and blocks such sites for your protection.
Why should you use Hotspot Shield VPN?
Hotspot Shield is a VPN that protects your device against malware such as rogue security software. It can be downloaded for free and is available for Windows, Mac, Android and iOS devices.
Hotspot Shield alerts you if the site that you’re visiting contains malware, and then blocks the site. Hotspot Shield does this using a database of more than 3.5 million known and suspected websites, preventing them from infecting your device.
What are the other benefits of using Hotspot Shield Free?
- Hotspot Shield Free automatically connects your device to a US server, allowing you to make use of IP addresses there to access US-restricted content.
- With Hotspot Shield Free, you will be able to bypass your network’s filters and firewalls in school or at work so you can access blocked sites such as Facebook, Youtube, and Pinterest.
- Connecting to the Internet via Hotspot Shield’s secure and encrypted tunnel allows you to enjoy your favorite online activities anonymously, so you don’t have to worry about unwanted tracking and spying.
- Hotspot Shield Free hides your actual IP address and replaces it with a US IP address, preventing hackers and snoopers from silently monitoring your online activities and accessing sensitive information such as passwords and financial transactions.
- Hotspot Shield hides your personal information and encrypts your data such as passwords, credit card transactions, and instant messages whenever you connect to the Internet, providing an enhanced level of online security.
- Hotspot Shield secures your session whenever you access the Internet via public hotspot, preventing anyone on that network from spying on your online activities.
- Most of all, Hotspot Shield is free, and downloading it takes only a few steps!
What will you get if you upgrade to Elite?
With Hotspot Shield Elite, not only will you be able to enjoy all the benefits of the free version, you also get additional features such as unlimited bandwidth, access to more than 15 virtual locations all over the world, and ads-free browsing, all for a small fee!
If you want better protection against rogue security software, you now know what to do!