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Viruses and Spyware

Current Security Issues

Warning:  Fake-Alert

Warning: Fake-Alert (also calls itself XP Antivirus 2008 and Antivirus 360 as well as other names) is an extremely aggressive spyware infection. If you go to an infected web page, you will get a warning that your computer is filled with viruses and spyware and that you need to download it to protect yourself. If you make the mistake of installing it, it will come up with a bogus "scan" that shows your computer is horribly infected, and that you need to buy the software to clean it.

It is all a scam.

The XP Antivirus is putting spyware on your computer. You probably weren't even infected in the first place. In addition, it messes with your antivirus software and prevents you from updating Windows. For more details, see our web page.

If you get this notice, close your web browser immediately to prevent infection.  There are cases where it places an icon on your desktop without even installing the software. It can be very hard to remove, even with standard spyware cleaners.

If you think you have XP Antivirus on your computer, see our cleaning instructions.


Basic Computer Security

Free Security Software


In order to keep your computer running well, you have to be aware of security issues. The biggest problems are caused by viruses and spyware.

  • Viruses are programs that are installed on your computer and affect its operation. They generally are designed to spread themselves rapidly, but a few can cause the loss of data, and all can cause your computer to run poorly.
  • Spyware is a class of programs that keep track of what you’re doing on your computer. It is also used to display pop-up ads (if pop-ups display when you haven’t just clicked to go to a new website, then it’s probably spyware).

For more details on security concerns, see "About Viruses."