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Safest Way To Escape Rogue Antivirus

What do you do when you are at some website and a window pops up telling you that you are infected and asking you to install their removal program? This happens in lots of different variations and is currently the most prominent cause of infection. Sadly, clicking cancel on the window or the upper right corner X could really be the OK button for this crooked software.

You should press ALT-F4 which is the Windows' shortcut for Close the current Window. Don't mouse around. You may have two three or more browser windows, so you may need to close a number of them until all your browser windows are closed. However, this might not work. The virus may have be controlling your windowing. If you can't break out with ALT-F4 then close down your programs and shut down the computer by pressing and holding the on⁄off switch of 5 or 10 seconds.

This should prevent infection. To be cautious though, reboot into safe-mode and run your antivirus scan in deep scan mode. When that is finished, run Malwarebytes in deep scan mode. This should remove any infection that might have gotten through. Hopefully, you have kept up your Malwarebytes antimalware software so it has fairly recent signatures, because you won't have access to the Internet to update from safe mode. If  you are still using Spybot or AdAware then you can use that instead of Malwarebytes. The idea is to run two scanners, your antivirus and your "second opinion" software.

I don't want this second opinion software running all the time, but once a month you should run a scan with an alternative malware detection tool like Malwarebytes. If you are doing so, and updating your signature files before that scan, then they should be fairly recent.

Instructions for getting into safe mode are here: http:⁄⁄www.computerhope.com⁄issues⁄chsafe.htm#03a

Date: April 2011

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