What is Scareware? How to Prevent and Remove It

There are many cybercrime methods commonly used to attack users’ devices. One of them is scareware which is based on user psychology. Maybe many of you are wondering what is Scareware and the dangers it can cause.

In general, scareware is a malware (malicious software) that is often not realized by internet users, or maybe you are one of these users. This is not strange because indeed the ‘camouflage’ technique used by malware is quite difficult for some ordinary users to distinguish.

Usually scareware will be in the form of pop ups, scareware is powerful enough to deceive users with intrigues that convince users to finally be deceived. Scareware tries to create panic in potential victims so that hackers can commit crimes when the target feels panicked.

Table of Contents

What is Scareware?

what is scareware

Scareware is a type of malware that takes the form of pop ups by exploiting the user’s fear to download the malware. Usually, this pop up will appear and scare that your device is infected with a very dangerous virus/malware.

Scareware is also categorized as social engineering to manipulate internet users, by sending pop-up ads containing false information that says if your device has been infected with a virus.

Pop ups containing this malware will disguise themselves as big antivirus companies to make them appear trustworthy. Then the pop up will ask you to download the antivirus software by clicking on the option that appears.

Read: What is Botnet – Cybercrime You Need to Get Off

That way, scareware actors will take advantage of the panic to encourage you to buy or download obscure software. In addition, they often try to direct you to a website and ask to fill in personal data which will then be misused.

So in essence, scareware will take advantage of the user’s negligence to be used to commit crimes. Usually scareware appears on websites that have quite a lot of ads in them.

Therefore, make sure that you are always careful when visiting certain sites. Make sure not to click carelessly or fill in personal data on invalid and suspicious links.

Examples of Common Scareware Attacking Internet Users

types of scareware

After learning about what is scareware, you may also be wondering about examples of scareware. In fact, there are many types and examples of scareware on the internet. Each instance of scareware has a different function, purpose, and even purpose.

For your information, here are some examples of general scareware you should know about:

1. Email Scareware

The first example of scareware you need to know about is email scareware. As the name implies, this type of Scareware comes via email with an urgent subject containing false information if the device you are using is infected with a virus.

Then, the email will direct you to click on a link to get rid of the virus. Usually, scareware emails will use a fake sender’s address or domain to appear as if it came from a legitimate source.

Read: What is Phishing Email and Tips How to Get Rid Off

If you’re not careful, you could end up being redirected to unsafe and dangerous sites. It could even install applications or malware that harm your data and device.

2. Support Technician Scareware

An example of scareware that you also need to watch out for is the support technician scareware. This type of scareware does not use certain software to attack potential victims who have been targeted.

This scareware will use fake support technicians who will contact you. Generally they will contact via telephone to potential victims. Furthermore, the fake support technician will provide false information about the condition of your device.

The scareware perpetrators with the fake support technician method will try to convince you to make a purchase or ask for your personal data. After they get what they want, of course the data will be used for your benefit.

3. Scareware Pop-up Ads

Examples of scareware that most attack internet users are pop-up ads. Pop-up ads scareware is the type of scareware that is most often found on the internet in the form of floating ads that appear on the screens of internet users.

Usually, when we are visiting a website, a pop-up appears containing a false statement if your device has been infected with a virus. Then, in the pop-up you will also be directed to buy or install a software to get rid of the virus.

Why is Scareware Dangerous?

why does scareware so dangerous

In general, all types of malwares are types of software that are very dangerous if they have infected a device or computer network. Because the malware infection can lead to such a large and detrimental impact.

Scareware is very easy to infect because the knowledge of some users about the types of malware is not so broad. Especially for internet users who are still quite unfamiliar with the dangers and types of cybercrime that often appear on the internet.

Read: What is Ransomware? Types & How to Prevent It

If left unchecked, the affected device or system will have an impact on slowing performance, loss of important data, and the worst thing is monitoring and controlling the device/system remotely without the user’s knowledge.

Ransomware, trojans, spyware, and viruses are among the types of malware used to attack users through scareware pop ups. So you should always be careful of scareware threats that are often ignored by internet users.

How to Prevent Scareware

how to prevent scareware attack

Now that you know what scareware is and the dangers it poses, you need to know how to prevent scareware attacks. The goal is to be able to protect devices and networks from dangerous malware threats.

For information, here are some ways to prevent scareware that you need to know:

1. Don’t Click the Pop Up That Appears

As is well known that scareware often appears in the form of pop up ads. Pop-up ads generally contain messages that try to scare potential victims. So that victims who are already afraid will take actions like those that appear in the pop up message.

In addition, there are also pop ups that appear to offer free software/files for download. However, the software you get is actually software with unclear functions and or even dangerous computer viruses.

In addition to the website, usually scareware also attacks via email, namely by email scamming which will also persuade you to download fake software by clicking on the link provided. Do not let you just click this kind of pop up notification because it is feared that it will contain malware in it.

2. Pay attention to the security of the sites you visit

The next way that can be used to prevent scareware is to ensure the security of the sites you visit. Because not all websites on the internet are safe sites for users to visit.

Some of the factors that influence websites to become insecure are the weakness of the website system because it is not strengthened by firewalls, SSL certificates, security plugins, and so on. This makes the website very vulnerable when accessed.

Read: What is DDoS Attack? Types and How to Prevent It

The vulnerable level of security makes it easier for hackers to insert malware. So it can infect more users on the internet. Therefore, make sure that you only visit websites that are safe and credible.

One indicator that can be used to assess the level of website security is the use of an https-based connection. An https-based connection is a secure connection because the information and data exchange process on the site occurs through an encryption process.

The existence of the encryption process will make the exchange of data and information more confidential. In addition, encrypted data is also more difficult for hackers or irresponsible people to access.

3. Use an Official Antivirus

The next way that can be used to prevent the occurrence of scareware on the device is to use an antivirus. Make sure that you only use a credible antivirus downloaded from the official website of the antivirus provider.

Usually, some types of devices with certain operating systems are equipped with a built-in antivirus, but there are also those that require users to install it manually. Antivirus usually comes with various other security features, such as ad blockers, URL filters, etc. Always use an official antivirus and enable maximum security features.


Scareware is one type of cyber crime that is quite dangerous. Because scareware is one type of malware that can infect anyone at any time. Devices that have been infected with scareware are also vulnerable to data theft and decreased performance.

Scareware is a type of malware that takes the form of pop ups by exploiting the user’s fear to download the malware. Usually, this pop up will appear and scare that your device is infected with a very dangerous virus/malware.

That’s a complete discussion of what is Scareware that you need to know. Now after reading the article above, hopefully you can be more careful about scareware or other types of malwares.

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