Most people have anti-virus software on there computer, but bugs can slip through the cracks! A few days ago, a warning popped up on my taskbar stating a security threat was detected and suddenly a system scan was running. Noticing this was not coming from my installed anti-virus software I quickly closed the program. From that point on, three new alerts would popup every few minutes. I hovered the pointer over the icon in the taskbar to discover AV Security Suite.
AV Security Suite is spyware via trojan (basically cooties for your computer), that poses as anti-spyware. It will cluster your computer with numerous fake spyware and/or security threats and simulate a system scan. It may then hijack your web browser and computer programs, making it impossible to access websites or open programs.
Solution? Spyware removal. I use Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, which is free on cnet.com for download. However if your entire pc has been hijacked, you will not be able to open the software. I had to log off my user account (Start menu–>Log Off) and login to the guest account to run Malwarebytes, which runs a complete scan and fix process of the entire system regardless of which account you are logged into.
Malwarebytes will scan your system and list infected files it finds. You then select which files you want the program to fix/remove. Like magic it got rid of every trace of the spyware and restarted my computer. It has worked like normal ever since. I usually run a scan every few weeks just to maintain my pc health with Malwarebytes and once a month with Glary Utilities (also at cnet.com). Other programs I have used and loved are Spybot Search & Destroy and HiJack This (for advanced users), both available at cnet.com for free. If none of those removes AV Security Suite for you, a Google search will return links for instruction on manual removal. However if you are not the tech savvy type, this is not recommended.
Remember that having these programs is a great fix if problems arise but you should still have anti-virus software installed and check your security settings. The internet is awesome but there are plenty of sites to be leery of…even trusted sites can get infected. As an extra measure, I use WOT (Web of Trust)on my browser when surfing the web. It shows user ratings of websites and alerts you if you are entering a site that has been reported as untrustworthy. Hopefully this information can help anyone needing a bit of extra security or help removing spyware (spontaneous popups, etc). Here’s to safe web browsing!