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Rajiv Singha

Beware of Fake Virus Alerts on your Mobile Device

March 24, 2015
18
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

A couple of days ago, a few of our readers shared their experience of receiving fake virus alerts while browsing the Internet on their mobile device. This post tells you more about these alerts.

Fake Virus Alert on Mobile Device

Unwanted and malicious pop-up ads have been around in the Internet for a long time now. Hackers compromise vulnerable websites and force them to display false virus threat notification to trick users into downloading a fake antivirus software, which in most cases, is a malware in itself. We also released a blog post talking about this issue some time back in 2014. The post helped users identity fake virus alerts and mobile antivirus apps on the Internet.

Hackers are now increasingly using the same tactic to trick mobile phone users. As mobile devices are becoming the primary medium to access the Internet, hackers are using this trend to their advantage. A couple of days earlier, one of our readers reported us about a malware threat notification while browsing the Internet on their mobile phone. The notification somewhat looked like this:

Beware of Fake Virus Threats on your Mobile Device

As you can see, this message looks critical enough to trick anyone who is reading it, especially if the user is unaware of such scams. In most cases, clicking OK takes the user to a third party site where they are asked to download an antivirus app which claims to clean the infection.

Please be advised that browser notifications such as these are fake virus alerts and you must never respond to them. In almost all cases, these so-called antivirus apps turn out to be adware that serve unwanted ads to trick users and earn money for scammers. In other cases, these apps could be a Trojan horse, or a spyware that steals personal information. In all cases, such apps are unsafe.

What Should You Do?

1. Do not visit websites by clicking on links received in unwanted or unexpected emails.

2. If you come across any ‘virus alert’ as shown above, do not respond to the message, no matter how critical it may sound. Close the browser immediately and take the following steps:
– Clear browsing history
– Clear the cache
– Clear cookies & site data

3. Run an antivirus scan on your mobile using a trusted mobile security app

4. Never install mobile apps from third party stores. Follow official stores like Google Play

5. Run a quick research on the publisher of the app you intend to install. Also go through the reviews and comments of users who have used it

6. Read app permissions carefully before installing it. If you think, there are unnecessary permissions, do not install it

7. Install a mobile security app like Quick Heal.

If you come across any message such as the one shown in this post, do let us know about it via the comment section below. Stay safe!

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Rajiv Singha
About Rajiv Singha
Rajiv is an IT security news junkie and a computer security blogger at Quick Heal. He is passionate about promoting cybersecurity awareness, content and digital...
Articles by Rajiv Singha »

18 Comments

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  1. This type of information is really very helpful for all the mobile and computer users, Thank you to all members of quick heal team for always sending these type of alerts. Thank you so much.

    Reply
  2. kiranmayeeMarch 25, 2015 at 7:05 PM

    i have been using clean master..is it sufficient or shoul i install any antivirus app??

    Reply
    • Hi Kiran,

      Clean master is a mobile optimizing app that does not provide the required security against malware and other threats. Hence, we recommend you to go for a reliable mobile security app. You can try our Quick Heal Free mobile security app – http://bit.ly/QHMS_Free

      Regards,

      Reply
  3. it helpful

    Reply
  4. Ramappa NyamathiMarch 25, 2015 at 10:03 PM

    Hello, I am regular user of Quick Heal antivirus from last 3 years in my home office pc’s. so now please give me suggestion to install Quick Heal antivirus for my Samsung S3 Neo smart phone. I am tryed quick heal mobile scanning on my authenticated virus scanning, but my device not listed in list of you provided.

    kindly do the same as above,

    thanking you,

    Reply
  5. VIJAY KUMARMarch 25, 2015 at 10:06 PM

    Thanks U Quick Heal for touching every corner of security.

    Reply
  6. RENUKADAS DIXITMarch 25, 2015 at 10:51 PM

    this is helpful. I am using CM security app for my mobile. Should i uninstall it and use quickheal. Pls guide. Thanks.

    Reply
  7. Pavan B. GuptaMarch 26, 2015 at 6:54 AM

    very helpful message.

    Reply
  8. yes it helful quick heal

    Reply
  9. Thank you very important information.

    Reply
  10. Tejas ShirgaonkarMarch 26, 2015 at 7:23 PM

    Thank you Quickheal!! Even though i know these tricks i would appreciate Quickheal for sharing such useful information with users..

    Using quickheal since 6 Years and still using it..
    Proud to say “Quickheal the best ever Antivirus”
    🙂 Keep going with it..

    Reply
  11. Dr. Praveen KumarMarch 26, 2015 at 9:27 PM

    Despite using quick heal total security I could not get rid of ads – specially one claiming to be Unisales.
    ? What to do

    Reply
  12. deepak vatsMarch 27, 2015 at 12:02 PM

    yes it helful quick heal

    Reply
  13. help for windows phone too.

    Reply
  14. Tejasva BansalMay 23, 2015 at 3:26 PM

    Thanks for giving this advice we will do it. Thanks for updating everything

    Reply