Monday, March 8, 2010

Protection Racket

A truly annoying ad has started popping up on some websites I frequent: somehow it slips through your pop-up blocker and pops up a window that offers to scan your computer for viruses. Then it purports to actually start scanning your computer and to find some viruses, and then it asks whether you want them removed.

All of this would be annoying enough, but what really gets your goat is that when you click on the close button, the program refuses to close. It just pops up another window asking if you're sure you want to decline this great and necessary virus-clearing service, and it's not clear whether you should click "OK" or "Cancel" to get rid of that. As you try to close, it just keeps popping up more and more windows, until finally you have to close the whole website you were trying to visit in the first place and start over. Basically, it claims to offer protection, but what you most need to be protected from is this annoying ad!

This sort of thing should be illegal. I don't mind Internet ads -- someone has to pay for all that free content -- but programs that refuse to close are over the line.

Don't click here unless you want to experience this annoying sponsor.


Samuel said...

Antivirus software is sadly pointless, unless of course you click on those sorts of links. Most attacks rely on you clicking patently untrustworthy links, and those that don't won't be stopped by antivirus (e.g. 0-day/worms).

Samuel said...

Also, having now (foolishly) clicked the link myself, I can add that the Chrome browser sends you to a warning page before loading it.