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Important Information about Rogue Infections

Over the past couple of years we have seen an alarming trend that seems to be worsening. A variety of infections, now known as rogue's, are spreading across the internet like wildfire. Rogue's are programs that pose as a security, anti-virus or similar protective program but are. in fact, a very serious infection typically designed to extort money and even private information from an unsuspecting victim. This page was created to help answer some of the most common questions and to provide some guidance that should help you to protect your computer and your information. Please tell others about this web page.

What is Rogue and what are the risks?

Rogue's are a new breed of Web threats being developed by cybercriminals and malicious programmers. In short, they are fake antispyware, antivirus, security tools, or registry cleaners that often report infections or other security problems on your computer that do not actually exist. In fact the program telling you that there is an infection is a very serious infection. Victims are often prompted, or even nagged, to renew the protection so that the infections can be removed.

A partial list of rogue security software exists on Wikipedia.

Typical behaviors of a rogue include:

  • They make using a computer or some programs very difficult
  • They block access to important system tools
  • They interfere with legitimate antivirus programs ability to operate and even update
  • They often delete programs and other files that are used to remove infections
  • They are often accompanied by other infections (malware)
  • They nag the user for payment, then if an unsuspecting used actually pays there are often additional attempts to extort additional payments from the user

How can I tell if I am infected?

There are a number of ways to detect Rogues and other virus infections. Here is a short list of some of the most common computer symptoms:

  • Your computer seems to be running slower than usual.
  • You have pop-up windows that you would not normally expect. Especially watch for this when you are not actively surfing the internet.
  • You have programs on your computer that you did not install.
  • You have security messages warning you that your computer is not protected, that it is infected or that you have some other problem. It is important to note that some infections will display FAKE warnings to encourage you to purchase software or other services to protect your computer.

What should I do if I am infected?

If you are infected, or feel that you may be, you should backup ALL important data including email, photos, documents, etc now. There are a number of ways to accomplish this, however you should avoid the use of a Flash Drive. An offline backup, where Windows is not running from your own hard drive, may be the only reliable method of backup if you are infected. We also recommend a good online backup solution as one of the very best options to protect yourself (before you are infected), and you may be able to get such a service at no cost. Please see our web page for details on the products that we have found to be safe and effective:

You should never use an infected computer to access online services such as email, online banking or other services. If you have logged into any online accounts, accessed any financial information from your computer or if you are storing any information that is confidential it is very important to watch those accounts and to take appropriate precautions. If the computer is used in a business, or by an employee who conducts business from that computer, you may have state and/or federal regulations that require you to notify certain agencies, law enforcement and even your clients.

Removing the infection can be accomplished in a number of ways. One way is to use your computer’s restore disk to ERASE and restore everything on your computer. A word of warning that you will lose all of the programs and data that you, or others, have placed on the computer so you should have a backup first.

Another good option is to contact your favorite computer support provider for assistance. We offer virus cleanup services, please see our contact information.

Use caution if you choose to remove the infection yourself, especially if surfing online for a solution. There are many rogue anti-virus programs that claim to resolve the infection and turn out to be viruses or Trojans themselves. If you would like to resolve the issue yourself you can contact us by email for advice at no cost. See our contact page.

How do I prevent an infection?

I love the old adage “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” because it is really true when protecting your computer from an infection. Here are the simple steps that we recommend:


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