Make sure your antivirus software is legitDon't get tricked into downloading a virus when you think you're downloading antivirus software. Molly Wood shows you how to spot a rogue operator.
Hi, I'm Molly Wood from CNET.com, here with a tip on making sure you�re really secure when you�re downloading security software. Our Download.com team got a reader email from Gergigbear, asking, "How do you tell a rogue anti virus site from the good sites?" You might have heard of the threat posed by rogue antivirus vendors. Maybe you�ve seen a message telling you that your computer is infected and you need to buy some this software right now to fix it. Or, worse, scammers can compromise legitimate antivirus Websites and redirect you to a bogus site. Usually, the scammers harvest your credit card information and whatever you pay for the fake software, and then never deliver any software. But some fake antivirus software can actually CONTAIN viruses or worms. So, you need to be careful. Here are some tips from our Download.com editors on how to avoid getting scammed. First tip: it�s all about the source: If you�ve discovered the site from a pop-up on your computer screen or in your system tray, all signs point to rogue. This is a well-known scare tactic that these illegitimate companies use to herd you to their sites. Instead, search for security software on CNET Download.com or other reputable sites. You�ll get legitimate recommendations, and also ratings and editors� reviews. Next: take a good hard look at the site! Legitimate antispyware companies spend a lot of money to make their Websites look good. If you see spelling errors or bad graphics, steer clear. Of course, a bogus �company� could also make a nice site, which is why� Third tip: Use a link scanning app like McAfee Site Advisor or link LinkScanner Lite (which is included in AVG�s free antivirus app). Also, both Firefox and Internet Explorer use scanning and rating toolbars that warn you with yellow or red buttons in the browser window if the site seems unsafe. Visit Download.com for a lot more tips on avoiding unsafe sites, and you can find our top security picks at the link on the screen. It�s a dangerous world out there, and I hope this will help you stay a little bit safer. For CNET.com, I'm Molly Wood, and you�re welcome.