Be careful of pop-up windows

Pop-up windows and advertisements are a constant annoyance when you are browsing the internet.

If you suddenly see a pop-up window telling you that you have won something, that you are approved for a high-end loan or worse yet, that you have some kind of virus on your computer, one tip is NOT to click on any visible button or anywhere within that pop-up window.

That is typically how malicious software (malware) gets onto your computer. There might even be fake buttons on the pop-up window to close the window down and if you click on them, you are in turn launching an automatic download of the software.

The best thing to do when you see pop-ups of this nature is:
1. Click on the Ctrl+Alt+Del buttons on your keyboard to bring up the Windows Task Manager (see example image below)

pop-up windows Task Manager

2. Make sure that you are on the *Applications* tab and click (to highlight) the application pop-up that appears there.
3. Once it is highlighted, click on the *End Task* button that is towards the bottom right hand side of the same task manager window. The pop-up window will now close.
4. Run an Anti-Virus scan immediately after this. This is highly recommended.

One of the more pesky pop-ups I’ve seen is one from the Avira AntiVirus company. The pop-up window comes up and it immediately fakes you out by bringing up an Anti-Virus scan bar that pretends to scan your computer quickly. It then says that you have a certain amount of viruses present on your computer (a common scare tactic!) where you will be forced you to purchase a yearly subscription. That window will stay up permanently on your computer until you purchase the software. I can’t say whether this questionable sales technique stems particularly from one of their resellers or from the company itself but nevertheless, it is a major annoyance to end users alike.

[Image courtesy of Ivan Walsh]

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