What Should You Know About Safety Center

By: Ms Mindy Matter

Millions depend on their computers for school, work, information, entertainment, and communication. Keeping it safe is essential so our systems perform when we need them to. If you see pop-ups warning of security risks, does this mean that there are problems in your system? It does, but not the problems that the pop-ups claim. Safety Center and other rogue antivirus programs try to convince computer users to install their ultimately useless software.

Safety Center

A clone of Security Center, System Center begins running whenever you boot up your computer. It simulates a scan process and then issues warnings, claiming it has found several threats. What lends credibility to this program, as well as other rogue antivirus programs, is that it does display a list of infections. What the user needs to know, though, is that these infections are not real. They are files created by Security Center in order to convince the user that multiple threats are present. The pop-ups and scan results are just ads. Safety Center cannot scan your system at all. If purchased, it cannot remove risks or protect your system against threats.

That lack of protection is part of the real problem with these kinds of programs. Many novice users see the offers of protection and immediately click on them, hoping to end the flood of symptoms they notice in their day to day interactions with the machine. It is only by better understanding each of the tactics a program like Safety Center employs, though, that you can keep your machine safe every time you go online.

How Does Safety Center Enter a Computer System?

There are two version of Safety Center: the free trial version and the registered version. The difference? Nothing, except that you pay for the registered version. The full version is installed by the user directly. They may be convinced by the pop-ups and false scan results that Safety Center will fix infections. Unfortunately, it does not. Nor is any contact information available so you could get a refund.

The free version, which generates the pop-ups, only simulates scans and tells users that it cannot remove threats. They must buy the software for that. This version is downloaded via Trojan. It is possible to pick a Trojan up by visiting a site or downloading a file that is affected. Even legitimate sites can be vulnerable to Trojans, but those with adult, gaming, gambling, and social networking content are often at heightened risk. It is possible to pick up a Trojan when instant messaging, downloading a free video, or clicking an ad or image. Trojans such as Vundo, Zlob, and the more recent version which disguises itself as an Adobe Flash update, are closely associated with rogue antivirus programs.

Recognizing Safety Center

Whether installed directly or downloaded through a Trojan, it is important for computer users to recognize the signs that Safety Center is in their system. This program uses typical rogue antivirus tactics, which can make it easier to identify.

In order to convince people of security threats, Safety Center generates false scan results. You will see a window that looks like a scan result from Windows Security Center. It tells you that you do not have spyware protection, general security, automatic updating, registry doctor, or cookie remover installed in your system. It gives you the option of upgrading your protection, which you should never do. To distinguish it from Windows Security Center, look carefully at the name. Safety Center is written clearly at the top. It only takes a second to recognize a rogue.

You will also encounter alerts like the following:

You have become the victim of an attack by various malicious software programs! The activity of different types of harmful activities (including mail spamming) has been detected on your computer! You must install the latest updates for Safety Center immediately for the safety of your computer and the privacy of your personal data!

This is designed to incite immediate action. No one wants to be the victim or an attack. Note the use of exclamation points and dramatic language. These are signals of a rogue antivirus program. If you do not see the name of the program issuing the warning, look at the language.

Safety Center can also change your Google page to display the following message:

Google search has detected an unregistered version of Safety Center [or Privacy Center] and recommends updating to the full version for safe web browsing.

This is displayed under the Google name and is accompanied by the Windows logo, which is present on all of Safety Centerís warnings and scan results. It can seem legitimate because it implies an association with two reputable programs, Google and Windows.

In fact, almost all of the messages this program sends out look fairly legitimate, at least to beginning computer users. Most actual messages, though, from Windows, Google, or other big names, wonít identify another program by name.

When a rogue antivirus program is present in your system, it also causes your computer to slow down. When you boot up your computer, Safety Center launches itself. It uses your system resources to power itself, which leaves less for your programs. Other common signs are: new desktop shortcuts, flashing icons on your system tray, hijacked homepage, 404 messages when you attempt to go to a website, and an inability to access security programs.

Because Safety Center can disable your security program or block your access for these programs, it can create a door through which other forms of malware can enter. This may cause further system instability, so steps should be taken to remove the rogue program as soon as possible.

Please note that expecting your current antivirus software to catch this problem program wonít work. This isnít a virus, so most antivirus programs arenít designed to pick it up. Installing an entire security suite on your machine is really your best bet if youíre concerned about catching this program and preventing the others like it from entering your computer.

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By Mindy Matter for www.removeadware.com.au/ - Here you'll learn how to remove Safety Center: www.removeadware.com.au/articles/safety-center/ - Please link to this site when using this article.

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