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Remove “Windows Security Alert” pop-up virus (Free Guide) - updated Jan 2020

removal by Olivia Morelli - - | Type: Malware

“Windows Security Alert” is another example of a tech support scam that targets valuable details and credentials with fake Microsoft messages

“Windows Security Alert” scam“Windows Security Alert” is the scam message that delivers pop-ups and redirects that state about potential damage and malware infections. However, there is nothing legitimate about these alerts, and the name Microsoft or Windows has no relation to software providers or your issues. It is possible that the list of problems is fake, and your machine is totally safe and not affected by any malware. Scareware is designed to create frustration and make people believe that their system is affected or can get damaged.

There is a reason why the message gets “Windows Security Alert” tech support scam name – fraudulent content that leads to malicious people. If you continue browsing on the site or even call the provided number, you get to talk to direct scammers. Anyone that believes all the claims and falls for the scam ends up talking with criminals. When that happens, the “Windows Security Alert” virus may be the harmless PUP when compared to RAT or info-stealing malware installed on the machine by people on the other side. Remember that none of the well-known software providers and program developers send such system alerts or pop-ups on the browser.

Name “Windows Security Alert”
Type of malware Adware/ Scam
Distribution Deceptive pages expose the user to malicious content that triggers PUP installations and infections like adware. Also, budling technique often gets used as the primary method of spreading potentially unwanted programs and similar browser-based threats that shows scammy messages
Danger Such programs directly expose people to malicious content and result in privacy issues. It becomes especially dangerous when victims communicate with scammers one on one 
Tactics Technical support scam is based on scareware tactics that allow manipulating people's behavior in your favor by scaring them and tricking into performing needed action. In this case, victims are tricked into contacting scammers directly and installing shady software
Elimination “Windows Security Alert” removal requires professional anti-malware tools because such intruder can install other programs without victims' knowledge and affect the persistence of the initial PUP this way
Repair Since the scam is more dangerous and can lead to installations of additional threats, you need to check all the places that can possibly get affected or even corrupted by the virus. System tools like Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego can find and even fix files damaged by the infection

“Windows Security Alert” scam delivers a fake system/ browser message that might pop up during your regular browsing sessions. This alert is delivered by a malicious website that you might be forced to visit by an adware program[1] or a high-risk website. The redirect itself is caused by the potentially unwanted program which is running in the background of your device and affecting the performance from the inside.

The notification informs that something went wrong with the Windows operating system because one of the recently visited sites may have installed malware on the computer. For this reason, the user’s device has been blocked until he or she calls Windows Help Desk via 1-844-826-1198. However, the tech support team behind the message is fake and possibly having malicious goals.

One of the “Windows Security Alert” scam messages reads the following:

** Windows Security Alert **
Internet Security Alert! Code: 055BCCAC9FEC

Do not ignore this critical alert.
If you close this page, your device access will de disabled to prevent further damage to our network.

Your device has alerted us that it has been infected with a Suspicious Activity. The following information is being stolen.
Please call us immediately at:

> Facebook logins
> Credit Card details
> Email Account Login
> Photos stored on this device
You must contact us immediately so that our engineers can walk you through the removal process over the phone. Please call us within the next 5 minutes to prevent your device from being disabled.

Nevertheless, authors of the “Windows Security Alert” virus claim that it’s a toll-free number, you should not dial it. This security alert is fake. We can assure you that any serious virus is not installed on your computer yet. What is more, this customer support service won’t help you to fix any problems.

“Windows Security Alert” pop-up virus
“Windows Security Alert” tech support scam aims to trick users that their computers were infected with malware.

Most likely fake specialists will convince you to download fake software or install remote access tools. Scammers may have created this cyber infection for numerous reasons. However, none of them is related to doing something good for computer users. Such campaigns mainly lead to installations of malware that is designed to collect data or damage the machine.[2]

As we have mentioned in the beginning, you might also end up on this technical support scam website after a visit to the high-risk site. For instance, adult-themed or gaming sites might be designed to redirect users once they click the “Play” button or blank space of the site. Thus, you should stay away from potentially dangerous websites.

“Windows Security Alert” might reach computer users all over the world. It doesn’t matter where you live – in Spain,[3] Iceland or Algeria – if you do not take previously mentioned precautions, you might suffer from scammers. These people target anyone online and can be directly aiming at your country. 

Once you end up on Windows-security-alert.info, you should close the browser’s tab immediately. Do not click any buttons because it may lead to the installation of malware. Leaving this website is just a temporary solution. You will be redirected to this site again soon because such behavior is controlled by the PUP which runs in the background of your PC directly. 

In order to stop undesired redirects completely and get rid of the potentially unwanted infection, you need to run a full system scan with anti-malware program. Additionally, Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego can help you to remove “Windows Security Alert” damage within several minutes and improve the performance even more.

Usually, the virus is related to an adware program. Thus, apart from showing this fake security alert, you might also notice an increased amount of intrusive ads. What is more, adware might track information about users and even share it with third parties and malicious people.

If you delay “Windows Security Alert” removal, you might also notice unknown browser extensions installed to Chrome, Firefox, and other web browsers. Keep in mind that various data tracking technologies[4] might be installed as well and you cannot notice such additions yourself. The biggest problem is that these shady tools might be interested in tracking sensitive details and expose your personal information online. Thus, it may lead to serious problems and privacy-related issues or even identity theft.  “Windows Security Alert” error
“Windows Security Alert” pop-up it the fraudulent message used by scammers that targets private details like emails, logins, and banking credentials.

Redirects to fake security alert site might notify about the infiltration of the adware

Such fake messages usually get triggered by an ad-supported program or adware. This potentially unwanted application may have sneaked inside the system unnoticed during the installation of freeware. Developers of such applications use bundling techniques to infiltrate computers silently.

Inattentive installation of new programs might end up with a hijacked web browser or installation of numerous undesired apps. Thus, in order to avoid scams and similar cyber parasites, you should:

  • not install software from torrents and suspicious file-sharing sites;
  • download legitimate programs from publishers’ websites;
  • choose Advanced/Custom installation settings;
  • unmark all pre-selected optional downloads;
  • never trust Quick/Recommended installation settings;
  • always read EULA and Privacy Policy.

“Windows Security Alert” virus elimination methods

We highly recommend choosing the automatic “Windows Security Alert” removal option. By scanning the system with a reputable anti-malware program, you can get rid of this threat easily. An updated security program will locate and delete all virus-related components for you.

However, you can try to terminate it manually as well. Redirects to this malicious site are usually triggered by adware. Thus, you need to find and remove it from the system. Below you will find detailed guidelines on how to remove “Windows Security Alert” manually. Please follow them carefully.

Manual“Windows Security Alert” virus elimination might be complicated because the virus may have installed additional components and helper objects. Thus if redirects and pop-ups continue showing up, you should opt for automatic removal.

You may remove virus damage with a help of Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego. SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner and Malwarebytes are recommended to detect potentially unwanted programs and viruses with all their files and registry entries that are related to them.

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What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove virus damage using Reimage Intego, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage Intego has a free limited scanner. Reimage Intego offers more through scan when you purchase its full version. When free scanner detects issues, you can fix them using free manual repairs or you can decide to purchase the full version in order to fix them automatically.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Reimage, try running SpyHunter 5.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Intego, try running Combo Cleaner.

To remove “Windows Security Alert” pop-up virus, follow these steps:

Erase “Windows Security Alert” pop-up from Windows systems

Follow the steps below to locate and remove adware that is responsible for Windows Security Alert pop-ups.

  1. Click Start Control Panel Programs and Features (if you are Windows XP user, click on Add/Remove Programs). Click 'Start -> Control Panel -> Programs and Features' (if you are 'Windows XP' user, click on 'Add/Remove Programs').
  2. If you are Windows 10 / Windows 8 user, then right-click in the lower left corner of the screen. Once Quick Access Menu shows up, select Control Panel and Uninstall a Program. If you are 'Windows 10 / Windows 8' user, then right-click in the lower left corner of the screen. Once 'Quick Access Menu' shows up, select 'Control Panel' and 'Uninstall a Program'.
  3. Uninstall “Windows Security Alert” pop-up and related programs
    Here, look for “Windows Security Alert” pop-up or any other recently installed suspicious programs.
  4. Uninstall them and click OK to save these changes. Right click on each of suspicious entries and select 'Uninstall'

Uninstall “Windows Security Alert” pop-up from Mac OS X system

  1. If you are using OS X, click Go button at the top left of the screen and select Applications. Cick 'Go' and select 'Applications'
  2. Wait until you see Applications folder and look for “Windows Security Alert” pop-up or any other suspicious programs on it. Now right click on every of such entries and select Move to Trash. Click on every malicious entry and select 'Move to Trash'

Get rid of “Windows Security Alert” pop-up from Internet Explorer (IE)

In order to get rid of the virus entirely, follow the steps below and reset Internet Explorer.

  1. Remove dangerous add-ons
    Open Internet Explorer, click on the Gear icon (IE menu) on the top right corner of the browser and choose Manage Add-ons. Click on menu icon and select 'Manage add-ons'
  2. You will see a Manage Add-ons window. Here, look for “Windows Security Alert” pop-up and other suspicious plugins. Disable these entries by clicking Disable: Right click on each of malicious entries and select 'Disable'
  3. Change your homepage if it was altered by virus:
    Click on the gear icon (menu) on the top right corner of the browser and select Internet Options. Stay in General tab.
  4. Here, remove malicious URL and enter preferable domain name. Click Apply to save changes. Delete malicious URL, enter your desired domain name and click 'Apply' to save changes
  5. Reset Internet Explorer
    Click on the gear icon (menu) again and select Internet options. Go to Advanced tab.
  6. Here, select Reset.
  7. When in the new window, check Delete personal settings and select Reset again to complete “Windows Security Alert” pop-up removal. Go to 'Advanced' tab and click on 'Reset' button. Now select 'Delete personal settings' and click on 'Reset' button again

Remove “Windows Security Alert” pop-up virus from Microsoft Edge

Reset Microsoft Edge settings (Method 1):

  1. Launch Microsoft Edge app and click More (three dots at the top right corner of the screen).
  2. Click Settings to open more options.
  3. Once Settings window shows up, click Choose what to clear button under Clear browsing data option. Go to Settings and select 'Choose what to clear'
  4. Here, select all what you want to remove and click Clear. Select 'Clear' button
  5. Now you should right-click on the Start button (Windows logo). Here, select Task Manager. Open the start menu and select 'Task Manager'
  6. When in Processes tab, search for Microsoft Edge.
  7. Right-click on it and choose Go to details option. If can’t see Go to details option, click More details and repeat previous steps. Right-click 'Microsoft Edge' and select 'Go to details' Select 'More details' if 'Go to details' option fails to show up
  8. When Details tab shows up, find every entry with Microsoft Edge name in it. Right click on each of them and select End Task to end these entries. Find Microsoft Edge entries and select 'End Task'

Resetting Microsoft Edge browser (Method 2):

If Method 1 failed to help you, you need to use an advanced Edge reset method.

  1. Note: you need to backup your data before using this method.
  2. Find this folder on your computer: C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Local\Packages\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe.
  3. Select every entry which is saved on it and right click with your mouse. Then Delete option. Go to Microsoft Edge folder on your computer, right-click every entry and click 'Delete'
  4. Click the Start button (Windows logo) and type in window power in Search my stuff line.
  5. Right-click the Windows PowerShell entry and choose Run as administrator. Find Windows PowerShell, right-click it and select 'Run as administrator'
  6. Once Administrator: Windows PowerShell window shows up, paste this command line after PS C:\WINDOWS\system32> and press Enter:
    Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register $($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml -Verbose}
    Copy and paste a required command and press 'Enter'

Once these steps are finished, “Windows Security Alert” pop-up should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

Delete “Windows Security Alert” pop-up from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

Uninstall suspicious extensions from Mozilla Firefox in order to terminate the “Windows Security Alert” pop-up virus entirely.

  1. Remove dangerous extensions
    Open Mozilla Firefox, click on the menu icon (top right corner) and select Add-ons Extensions. Click on menu icon and select 'Add-ons'
  2. Here, select “Windows Security Alert” pop-up and other questionable plugins. Click Remove to delete these entries. Select 'Extensions' and look for malicious entries. Click 'Remove' to get rid of each of them
  3. Reset Mozilla Firefox
    Click on the Firefox menu on the top left and click on the question mark. Here, choose Troubleshooting Information. Click on menu icon and then on '?'. Select 'Troubleshooting Information'
  4. Now you will see Reset Firefox to its default state message with Reset Firefox button. Click this button for several times and complete “Windows Security Alert” pop-up removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times

Eliminate “Windows Security Alert” pop-up from Google Chrome

Open the list of Chrome extensions and delete suspicious entries that might be responsible for bringing the “Windows Security Alert” message. Then reset the browser in order to get rid of tracking cookies.

  1. Delete malicious plugins
    Open Google Chrome, click on the menu icon (top right corner) and select Tools Extensions. Click on menu icon. Select 'Tools' and 'Extensions'
  2. Here, select “Windows Security Alert” pop-up and other malicious plugins and select trash icon to delete these entries. Look for malicious entries and delete each of them by clicking on the Trash bin icon
  3. Click on menu icon again and choose Settings Manage Search engines under the Search section. When in 'Settings', select 'Manage search engines...'
  4. When in Search Engines..., remove malicious search sites. You should leave only Google or your preferred domain name. Click 'X' to remove malicious URLs
  5. Reset Google Chrome
    Click on menu icon on the top right of your Google Chrome and select Settings.
  6. Scroll down to the end of the page and click on Reset browser settings. When in 'Settings', scroll down to 'Reset browser settings' button and click on it
  7. Click Reset to confirm this action and complete “Windows Security Alert” pop-up removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal

Erase “Windows Security Alert” pop-up from Safari

  1. Remove dangerous extensions
    Open Safari web browser and click on Safari in menu at the top left of the screen. Once you do this, select Preferences. Click on 'Safari' and select 'Preferences'
  2. Here, select Extensions and look for “Windows Security Alert” pop-up or other suspicious entries. Click on the Uninstall button to get rid each of them. Go to 'Extensions' and uninstall malicious add-ons
  3. Reset Safari
    Open Safari browser and click on Safari in menu section at the top left of the screen. Here, select Reset Safari.... Click on 'Safari' and select 'Reset Safari...'
  4. Now you will see a detailed dialog window filled with reset options. All of those options are usually checked, but you can specify which of them you want to reset. Click the Reset button to complete “Windows Security Alert” pop-up removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

About the author

Olivia Morelli
Olivia Morelli - Ransomware analyst

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