Virus Scanner Alert

virus scanner alert what to doA friend had a virus scanner alert which stated there was a suspect file on her computer. Today she asked me questions about it, perfect for another blog post!

Danger!

You have an updated virus program and you get a pop up or alert. What do you do now?

Depends

You REALLY need to understand if it was the correct program that “popped up” and not a fake scanner that you may have been infected with.
1. Does the application name specifically contain the name of the virus scanner you regularly use?
a. Yes – continue / click on the pop up message
b. No – use Task manager to close the program

For our exercise we will assume it was the correct program and you have been alerted to an issue,  now what?

Read the results to see what the message says. If it alerts you to having found a virus, malware or spyware, use the quarantine or delete / remove function. Pretty simple really.

What if it alerts you to something but “thinks” it might be ok? Which is the case here. The file / app found is called Soft Tonic for windows media player.

I have never heard of this so I will need to do a little digging. My first instinct is: If I haven’t specifically downloaded it then it was an unwanted install – get rid of it.

Since this person does not know if it was needed, they just keep ignoring the alert.

Here is a typical search process

  1. Use a search engine and search for the key word in the message. In this case it was softonic. I also searched for soft tonic.
  2. Review the search results. One of the results has this to say: Softonic.com is a software download portal based in Barcelona, Spain, founded in 1997.
    Two things come to mind

    1. Software download portal – danger – run away!
    2. Not in the U.S.A.
      (From this quick review my first thought would be to remove.)
  3. Use a domain scanner / lookup tool
    https://safeweb.norton.com/
    https://www.virustotal.com/en/

While the scans of the urls determine that it is an “ok” site, the comments and feedback from users clearly state this site distributes malware.

Softonic does distribute creepy privacy-invading social media-tracking adware. It is not a reliable source for any program.

Given the mixed messages and the lack of knowing where it came from, I would remove the program.

Just the beginning

This is a cursory overview and clearly shows there is no “one” right answer. Also, the safest choice if you are unsure, remove any unknown or unwanted items.

Oh yeah, do this by running add/remove programs and then re-scan your system.

I will be writing a few more posts to go along with this one. Namely the proper use of task manager and how to remove unwanted programs. Some easy things we should all know how to do.

Good luck, stay clean!

As always, Truly Blessed!
-Dennis

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1 Comment

  1. mary on November 20, 2014 at 10:19 am

    These are WONDERFUL insights for us technology-challenged people! Thank you!

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