Microsoft’s Windows Defender Anti-Malware Targets Scareware Apps

Windows Defender is built into every Windows 10 computer and is considered the bare minimum for securing your PC from viruses and malware.

Microsoft have announced that Windows Defender has expanded its role into preventing “scareware” optimization apps that use the hard sell to warn you of dangers to your PC.

Microsoft has always had an uneasy relationship with optimization programs, which it’s purpose was to clean up your PC from unwanted junk, potential spyware, and more.

Now, Microsoft is cracking down even further. Cleaner or optimization apps are fine, as long as they explain what they’re doing. But if those apps use “alarming or coercive messages or misleading content to pressure you into paying for additional services or performing superfluous actions,” they’ll be blocked, Microsoft says. Remember, you can run Windows Defender and a third-party antivirus app simultaneously, so each can be on duty.

Additional criteria that will trigger the removal include notices that the paid offer will expire in a limited time, or that no other errors (such as an antivirus program) will clean up the problems.

What this means for you

Fewer tech-support “calls” to family members. Scareware that preys upon the fears of family members less technically savvy than you is really slimy. Yes, Windows isn’t perfect, and there are utility developers who genuinely improve Windows’ functionality and feature sets. But those apps that vaguely warn of problems with your PC, then offer to fix them for a price, can cause more trouble than simply refreshing your PC.



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