Some very common misconceptions like "Free Antivirus Software is a scam" are common among users that haven't dug their whole lives into security and antivirus software. Share this document with your mom and dad so they err... know what to do in case of an antivirus infection and even more!

Fact Or Myth? Free Antivirus Software is a scam.

Myth. Scam software, after all, scams you into giving out personal information like your credit card. How can a free antivirus software achieve that? Although some free antivirus software acts like a trojan to launch multiple malware processes, most are safe, and certified to use.

To be sure, stick with some of the main programs:

- Avast
- Avira
- AVG
- Bitdefender (Free Version)
- Kaspersky (Free Version)
- And some others like X-Virus, which are commonly discussed in the MalwareTips community.

And remember, don't ever pay if you download a free software and it asks you to register.

Fact Or Myth? Uninstalling A Program is throwing it into the trash can.

Definitely a Myth. For starters, throwing a "program" into a trash can only gets rid of the "shortcut" that connects your mouse click to open up the program access information. So, all the bulk of the program is located in the Program Files folder.

A better way to uninstall is to go to Windows Add/Remove, which can be located in the control panel. Or even better, downloading a third-party uninstaller to ensure malware removal (like Revo, IObit, and Geek).

Fact Or Myth? I'm on a Linux/Mac, so I'm safe from any threats.

Myth. A Linux/Mac might be free from the most of windows malware, the OS doesn't provide safety from Phishing Threats (stealing information) and harmful attachment attacks (if the email attachment is a dmg file).

Fact Or Myth? There Is Such Thing As Ransomware.

Fact. This isn't just some propaganda that some junky old magazines made up. Ransomware is in the real world, and is very dangerous if your computer has many personal files. Once ransomware strikes, all your data is completely locked and cannot be accessed without paying a ransom ($300-$500). And worse, even if the malware is removed, your files are still locked.

Backing Up Your data using a flash drive, CD ROM, or a cloud based system like Acronis Backup allows you to simply reformat your drive after ransomware strikes and retrieve your lost data using the backups. Another good way to counter Ransomware is Sandboxie, an application that allows you to isolate part of your system, trapping the attacks of ransomware inside the sandbox.

Fact Or Myth? Norton is garbage.

While many people suggest to uninstall Norton AntiVirus, it is a legitimate antivirus and has made a comeback over the years. Although many PC Magazines have trashed it over the years, it has made a comeback and now is a competitor to top antivirus solutions such as ESET, Avast, Emisisoft, Kaspersky, etc.

However beware- some websites display fake pages showing either McAfee or Norton "scanning" and then popping up telling you that your computer needs repair. This, unlike the antivirus programs itself, is malware and you should close the windows immediately using Alt+F4 keys, or Ctrl-Alt-Del and then Shut Down System.

If time cooperates I will try to get another Fact Or Myth? done but no promises!
 
Update 1:

- Includes One Halloween style question:


Fact Or Myth? Halloween is a festival of candy.

Myth. Halloween originally started as a festival to remember the dead as part of Allhallowstide. Think of that before you go trick-or-treating!
 

jamescv7

Level 61
Trusted
Verified
I like where 'Norton is garbage' trends on those year 2000-2007/2008 however what are the other problems that cause it to be worse?

That years where many users does not use any active internet connection which why signatures are obsolete so infections spread easily.

Also techiques before are not been evolved.
 
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Fact Or Myth? I'm safe from phishing attacks if I never use my credit card online.

Myth. Your credit card is only one part of your information. The bad guys behind the attacks will get everything they can, for example bank account passwords, social security numbers, birth certificates, etc., and they will not stop just after getting your credit card. Even if you don't do banking online, the fact that it's possible will allow phishing developers to get into your account virtually.

Fact Or Myth? There are things like "Fake Flash".

Fact. "Fake Flash" is a term to describe scamming people into buying very small amounts of storage by advertising huge amounts. For example, if a flash drive has a genuine storage of 8 GB, and they slap on a new cover and call it a 512 GB drive, then that's a fake flash drive. To make it worse, the manufacturers of Fake Flash drives will hack into the firmware, tricking the flash drive and ultimately the computer and you into thinking the drive actually has 512 GB! Once you put something more than 8 GB inside though, the flash drive will secretly dump the files without you noticing (the file is still there, but once you click on it it's gone).

Fact Or Myth? I need a third-party firewall, because Windows Firewall is garbage.

Myth. Windows Firewall is perfectly fine and it is actually one of the best firewalls today, as it does its job willingly and well. Because of Windows Firewall, true worm viruses are practically extinct. If this doesn't convince you that Windows Firewall is better than most others, you can go with a firewall like ZoneAlarm, Comodo, or the firewalls in most internet security packages.

Fact Or Myth? The antivirus I have is advertised on TV, so it's safe.

Myth. Ads such as PCMatic are not the best antiviruses even though they are advertised on TV as so. In fact, in the case of PCMatic, they are almost scams and should be avoided at all costs.
 
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Fact Or Myth? I never need to back up my system.

Myth. Ransomware (if you look at my initial post), is malicious software that locks your computer and demands a ransom. If you back up your system regularly when ransomware strikes you can simply run any antivirus program to remove the malware, then retrieve your lost information.

Fact Or Myth? I should never run an Ad-Blocker.

It depends on your opinion. We should know that some websites use ads to support themselves, and when an adblocker is used, the website no longer gets any money. However, we can also argue that advertisements could induce malware, or trick you into downloading unwanted software (heard of the green download button adverts?).
 
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frogboy

Level 75
Trusted
Verified
Fact Or Myth? I never need to back up my system.

Myth. Ransomware (if you look at my initial post), is malicious software that locks your computer and demands a ransom. If you back up your system regularly when ransomware strikes you can simply run any antivirus program to remove the malware, then retrieve your lost information.

Fact Or Myth? I should never run an Ad-Blocker.

It depends on your opinion. We should know that some websites use ads to support themselves, and when an adblocker is used, the website no longer gets any money. However, we can also argue that advertisements could induce malware, or trick you into downloading unwanted software (heard of the green download button adverts?).
Must be the biggest myths of all time. :p:D
 
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gricardo21

Level 19
Verified
Fact Or Myth? I'm safe from phishing attacks if I never use my credit card online.

Myth. Your credit card is only one part of your information. The bad guys behind the attacks will get everything they can, for example bank account passwords, social security numbers, birth certificates, etc., and they will not stop just after getting your credit card. Even if you don't do banking online, the fact that it's possible will allow phishing developers to get into your account virtually.

Fact Or Myth? There are things like "Fake Flash".

Fact. "Fake Flash" is a term to describe scamming people into buying very small amounts of storage by advertising huge amounts. For example, if a flash drive has a genuine storage of 8 GB, and they slap on a new cover and call it a 512 GB drive, then that's a fake flash drive. To make it worse, the manufacturers of Fake Flash drives will hack into the firmware, tricking the flash drive and ultimately the computer and you into thinking the drive actually has 512 GB! Once you put something more than 8 GB inside though, the flash drive will secretly dump the files without you noticing (the file is still there, but once you click on it it's gone).

Fact Or Myth? I need a third-party firewall, because Windows Firewall is garbage.

Myth. Windows Firewall is perfectly fine and it is actually one of the best firewalls today, as it does its job willingly and well. Because of Windows Firewall, true worm viruses are practically extinct. If this doesn't convince you that Windows Firewall is better than most others, you can go with a firewall like ZoneAlarm, Comodo, or the firewalls in most internet security packages.

Fact Or Myth? The antivirus I have is advertised on TV, so it's safe.

Myth. Ads such as PCMatic are not the best antiviruses even though they are advertised on TV as so. In fact, in the case of PCMatic, they are almost scams and should be avoided at all costs.
I love the one about PCmatic. ;):p:eek::D
mmm what is pcmatic??? can i eat that??? o_O well after a quick google search and a few videos later... thanks God they dont advertis in latinamerica (even tho they have a spanish page)

about windows firewall i may agree that is effective but to become bullet proof you need to do some tweaks that most of ther users (me included) dont know how to do it, that is why we go and look for others solutions...
 
D

Deleted member 178

Fact Or Myth? Should i drink Umbra's every words about AVs ?

Fact. Yes you must ! Why? it will be too long to explain...just do it :D


Fact Or Myth? Do famous and trusted websites are always safe to visit?

Myth. no sites are safe, with a bit of dedicated efforts, cybercriminals can temporarily exploit popular and supposed-to-be-safe site and infect visitors until it is fixed.
 
L

LabZero

The 0-day exploits are rare but very dangerous and many times not trackable. Who uses it has 90% chance to be root, then has the privileges of the attacked system.
 
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JakeXPMan

Level 15
Verified
Fact Or Myth? I should never run an Ad-Blocker.

It depends on your opinion. We should know that some websites use ads to support themselves, and when an adblocker is used, the website no longer gets any money. However, we can also argue that advertisements could induce malware, or trick you into downloading unwanted software (heard of the green download button adverts?).
QUESTION;

Can malware infect a PC, from an add popup appearing on the screen?
 
QUESTION;

Can malware infect a PC, from an add popup appearing on the screen?
As far as I know, when you are loading an advertisement, you are loading another site within a site. So if the site has advertisements from a malicious source, then yes, a drive-by download could happen and your computer could be infected. However, it's much more likely for the green download button advert to trick you into downloading malicious software. Here is a pic:

 
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jamescv7

Level 61
Trusted
Verified
Definitely a pop up that may considered malvetising from some sites can infect you invisible.

But how? If anyone recall that a video was conducted long time before where Speedtest.net vulnerability is exist on drive by download through advertisement.

Tools like Fiddler detected a third party server and drop files instantly from temporary folder.