Have you encountered a website telling you it can scan your computer for any threats for free? They will convince you with a free copy of their antivirus software. This is usually trial software. Of course, you would take that chance of trying a new antivirus program without thinking twice. It's free, anyway.
What you do not know is that you might be downloading a rogue anti-virus. This is a kind of malware dressed as anti-virus software. It will pretend to scan your computer and tell you that your computer is infected with virus or spyware. It will scare you so you will be convinced to buy the full version. Unfortunately, many people were trapped to this scam. They pay for a full version of software that shows fake scan results. You should not be a victim of rogue files. Search for these as early as now and delete all of them.
But first of all, make sure you have a rogue file. A security warning popping out every few seconds is a clear indication of its presence. Slower computer performance and annoying pop-up ads are also signs of this.
Here's how you can search for rogue files in your computer:
- Go to the Task Manager. Here, you will know the executive file of the rogue program. It's easy to identify most of these files because they usually use all-number filename. If not, they are named after the program or a name that will give you a cue that it is an anti-virus software like "security," "scan," "protect," "anti virus," etc. End these applications and after that, you'll know it's already terminated. You can start to delete it from the installed applications in your control panel or uninstall it from the Programs option in the Start menu.
- Use the DOS. Click the Run option from the Start menu. If you are using Windows XP, type this: c:\documents and settings\all users\application data. Click OK after typing that. If you are using Windows Vista, open the Start Search box and type this: c:\users\all users\. Wait for a window to open up. Look for a folder named using 8 numbers. Usually, rogue files are named that way. The rogue files are in there. Delete the entire folder just to make sure.
- Program Files. Using the Windows Explorer, open the C:\ drive. From there, you will see the Program Files folder. Look for the folder of the rogue files. Almost all of the installed applications create their program folders in this C:\ folder.
There's no other reason why you would want to find the rogue files other than to delete them. If that's your reason, you can also use anti-virus applications to do that job. AVG and Avira have their free versions of anti-virus. If the rogue files are in their database, they can already clean these up. If not, you can try more powerful anti-virus. These are usually paid but you can have the trial versions, which commonly lasts for 30 days.
After deleting the rogue files, you should restart your computer. If in case the same problem persists, it's time to consider hiring a computer technician. You can never tell if you have completely removed all the traces of the rogue application. Your computer might need a reformat. This is the only way to completely clean up your computer and worry about the rogue files or any other malware no more.