How can we distinguish whether a program is anti spyware or a rogue anti spyware? As many corrupt tools are advertised in very sophisticated ways, they may look legal and the line between rogue and legitimate software becomes invisible for inexperienced eye.
Corrupt tools urge to pay for spyware removal; legitimate tools do the same. Paid spyware removers often provide free trial; same goes with fraudulent spyware removers. How can you be sure that software you install is genuine? First of all, you won’t need to install the most majority of corrupt tools as they are installed by trojans. If software has magically appeared on a system without your permission, it’s very likely a malicious one. However, this criterion is not the only one to judge software. Some trusted tools that are already installed on your computer may offer additional tools or install additional programs legally (these action are defined in license agreement; you should read it when running a setup).
If unknown software/toolbar/alert has appeared on a computer, it’s worth to check software reputation online. If the security program is genuine, it will be reviewed on at least several websites. If the software is corrupt and fraudulent, you will find removal instructions posted on plenty of web pages. Even this method has glitch: it doesn’t cost a lot to run a website; therefore malware creators can easily create several websites to praise a fake product and deceive people. However, making a good and functional website is costly and scammers usually don’t bother to invest money in fraudulent website which advertises fake product. This fact can help you in recognizing corrupt anti spyware: if software urges to pay full the full version, check the official website of the product. If it’s poorly designed, lacks of information and contacts, has lots of flashy ads, it’s most likely a scam.
If the methods mentioned above leave you in doubts, take a look at payments website. This part is very important, because if the software you buy is a scam, you can lose your online banking account and your money. Make sure the payment system is reputable, since reputable websites don’t cooperate with fraudulent companies. If the payment system is unknown, it might be fraudulent. Always check address bar of payment page before giving away your online banking details. If payments are secured, the address bar is yellow on most popular web browsers and there’s closed padlock icon next to address of a website. If the website seems to be suspicious, it’s better not to take a risk.
Some people think that the best anti spyware must be like Robin Hood: they expect it to fight all the malware without any fee. However, making and supporting a great security tool takes time and people and resources and all of these things are costly. Some legitimate security tools don’t notice users about paid services before the software is downloaded, but this practice isn’t scam for several reasons. If you purchase full version of genuine software, it detects and removes computer parasites. If you buy fake anti spyware, you get the same non-functional piece of software that can only load pop-ups but not protect your computer. Both legitimate and rogue anti spyware often promote free scanner dedicated to check a computer and offers purchasing full version capable of removing detected threats. But then again there’s a huge difference between rogue remover and genuine software: corrupt anti spyware is NOT able to neither scan a computer nor detect infections. It only simulates job performed by legitimate security tools and loads pop-ups masked as security alerts.