These days, telling the difference between viruses and anti-virus software is like trying to choose the right door on Let's Make A Deal; either you win that new security system or accidentally choose the virus hiding behind door number two.
The viruses often look identical to the real thing. Take, for example, the Security Shield Virus, the Windows Defender Virus, or any other malicious software removal tools.
Viruses like these, block real anti-virus software from working and infect the computer with threats of malware, prompting users to perform fake scans, where the virus mirrors a security scan tool. The scans don't actually work, but they will nonetheless list an absurd number of viruses and malware that aren't actually affecting the computer.
Then the pop-ups start, asking users to pay for an upgrade to remove the fake malware. These websites are scams asking for personal information to defraud unwary customers.
It's easy to download these types of viruses: stumble across the wrong site, accidentally click a link or download a file from that sketchy website and voila, you've picked up a virus like a kid with chicken pox.
So the computer's already infected
There are a few options: check out IT computer repair service, manually delete the virus or buy new anti-virus software.
With the right website, it's easy to find a good anti-virus program. However, don't trust online virus scans. These are generally phishing websites where viruses get downloaded so that hackers can steal credit card info to get paid for their viruses.
Here Microsoft has a helpful list of safe anti-virus for Windows programs.
A word of warning: If the computer already got a virus, then downloading new programs usually won't work. Previously or newly-installed software can be blocked by the viruses and can even block the task manager from opening.
An alternative is to channel that inner nerd and get rid of the virus manually. Start with a system restore. If you don't know how to do that, then this is probably not the way to handle the virus-move on to option 3. If the system restore doesn't work (because many viruses will continue to infect the PC after the restore), then it's time to take out the big guns.
Google how to delete the virus using a description of the anti-virus program it's pretending to be. There are many online guides, like this one for the Security Shield Virus, for removing viruses. Unfortunately, it's not always easy to know which virus is causing the problem and these manuals are often convoluted and filled with jargon that can leave the inexperienced with a headache and a million Wikipedia tabs open.
Remote Computer Repair Services
IT support services are a quick solution. They're reliable, efficient, and they don't come knocking on your door. Remote computer repair technicians will clean up the computer and prevent the same problems from happening in the future.
My Computer Works is a good example of an easy-to-use service with technicians that will remotely access your computer, get rid of threats, and install new anti-virus software.