Microsoft Windows – fake anti-virus programs

More and more of my clients are getting burned by pop ups advertising fake anti-virus programs that look real.  I have been seeing this on the computer systems of my clients dating back to 2009 (and likely earlier if I dig deep in my memory bank).
It is so hard to know — what is a true pop up telling you to update legitimate software and what is not.  For the first time, I realize that for a lot of you OWNING A COMPUTER CAN BE SCARY.   It isn’t for me, but I understand where you are coming from.
Read this article from Microsoft, which should at least help you UNDERSTAND about the fake anti virus warnings which can wreak havoc on your computer, cost you lost time, and often hundreds $$ spent on the services of someone like me.
I think the article is a little light on saying WHY these things happen and perhaps a little too optimistic on the solutions, but none the less a good read.    I was with a client yesteday, and Kaspersky (seemingly one of the best anti-virus programs out there) could not remove a fake antivirus program called “Win 7 Home Security”.  This program had NOTHING to do with Microsoft Windows 7.  We had to rely on the PRO version of Malware Bytes which is not (according the company) an all-in-one antivirus product.  MalwareBytes is to be used in conjunction with another anti-virus solution, but it works well.  That is for sure!!
Sometimes these new viruses (aka. malware) come about so fast that it will be something that even I have not previously read about and also something that your anti virus software has not found a solution for yet.   However, I am very willing to work with you when these crises happen.  All I ask is that you are patient.  These jobs can take 3 to 5 hours. I may even have to take your computer overnight.
  Dr. Sinatra’s trademark phrase used to be “prevention is easier than cure.”    The same could be said about your computers.
Even if you need the surgery (an intensive visit from me), how well you took care of your body (computer) beforehand greatly increases the chances of a successful recovery.
I don’t have any specific anti-virus programs to recommend to you now, other than the “big four” that I recommended previously along with Malware Bytes as a second program…….
However, if you do more on your computer than just internet and e-mail, if you have actual files on there that you cannot lose please do both of the following
1.  Have an external hard drive that does regular backups for you (approx $100 one time cost, perhaps plus a small cost for software)
2. Subscribe to an online backup service like Carbonite ($55 per year)

My Mac and Linux clients report no viruses at this time.  That won’t always be the case, but for right now and for the past decade or so, these operating systems have been FAR safer than Windows.
I would encourage my Windows clients to refer back to an Update I sent out on April 14.  If you can’t figure it out on your own, we can certainly figure it out at our next appointment together.  It would take me only 10 minutes to make these changes on your computer.
Signing off with the theme song of the T.V. show “Monk” — it’s a jungle out there !!!