Don’t get scammed by the legit-looking windows defender security warning. Let us help you get out of it.
To scam someone out of their money is never easy. And a few scammers seem to be knowing this truth for ages.
They find interesting ways to dupe (non-tech-savvy) people into doing things they otherwise won’t.
In this particular mechanism, they create a sense of urgency, telling the users their device is locked and to contact (fake) tech support immediately.
A pop-up displays a number dialing which takes you through rounds of social engineering until you reveal critical personal information or deposit a support fee upfront.
Let’s check it out in more depth to see how it works and how to avoid such fake warnings in the future.
Windows Defender Security Warning
Windows Defender is the native virus protection solution for Windows operating system. Using this as a pretext means the best chances of success for the bad actors.
However, like most other scams, this isn’t engineered perfectly. You can take note of the font irregularities, sub-par graphics, etc., to tell it apart from a genuine system warning pop-up.
What’s funny is even Mac/iOS users are getting this:
So this makes it a browser-based scam, targeting users randomly irrespective of their operating systems.
Why Am I Getting The Windows Defender Warning?
You interacted where you shouldn’t have. Clicked a suspicious link, downloaded malware, visited a shady web page, etc.
These actions could infect your device. Subsequently, you may get such pop-ups threatening to lock down the machine.
However, this can be much worse with spyware tracking your every move or ransomware encrypting your system and asking for hefty sums to get the access back.
So, consider yourself lucky if it’s just the windows defender security warning, and follow these steps to get rid of this.
Removing Windows Defender Security Warning from Chrome
If you’re on Chrome (or any Chrome-based browser), the standard step for all Windows users is to enter the Task Manager by pressing alt+ctrl+delete.
Here, search for the browser name, right-click over it and click End task.
This will close the browser.
Chrome users can also use its task manager to save anything important before closing it.
You can access it with shift+esc. In the list of Chrome internal processes, select the suspicious tab and use the End process to close it.
Afterward, the first thing to do is reset Chrome. For this, click the vertical ellipsis (⋮) at the top right, then get into Settings.
From the side panel, open Reset and clean up.
Here, you can directly Restore settings to their original defaults or use the Clean up computer as a precautionary measure first.
I wouldn’t call it a fully-fledged antivirus for your PC, but it deals with the malware affecting the browsing experience–the exact problem we are dealing with here. Ergo, there is no harm in using that one before restoring to defaults.
The last step is using a premium antivirus for a system scan. You can use the free version of Malwarebytes malware remover if you aren’t subscribed to any antivirus. Besides, there is McAfee‘s 30-day no-credit-card trial to clean your system from any unwanted applications.
Windows defender security warning is a fraudster’s attempt to make you reveal sensitive information or pay for nothing.
This is a browser-based infection, meaning you need to reset it. In addition, a full system scan with a premium antivirus should fix it.
PS: Malware or not, almost all laptops suffer from thermal throttling, and using these laptop cooling pads will boost their performance.
Hitesh works as a senior writer at Geekflare and dabbles in cybersecurity, productivity, games, and marketing. Besides, he holds master’s in transportation engineering. His free time is mostly about playing with his son, reading, or lying… read more