How to Stay Away from Rogue Antivirus Software

Alex Patel | 02.08.15 | 0 Comments

If you’ve been searching online for an antivirus product to buy or try, you may have come across the term “rogue antivirus software” or “rogue security software”. As the name implies, it is something you should avoid from trying or buying. The variety of antivirus products can come to our benefit, however, how can one truly detect the legitimacy of an antivirus brand? What does rogue antivirus software mean, how can one avoid it, let alone recognize it? Let’s take it step-by-step to see exactly what we’re up against and see how we can prevent this scoundrel software from entering our lives.

What is Rogue Antivirus Software?

Rogue AV software is basically malware. It appears in the form of helpful antivirus products in order to convince you to download it to your computer. Unlike real antivirus products, rogue AVs are completely fraudulent and claim to get rid of viruses when in fact they themselves install malware on your device and expose your files and personal information to threats.
Another term for rogue AVs is “scareware” because it uses fake virus alerts in order to scare users into downloading it to remove those viruses.

Can I Trust Free Antivirus Software?

Not all free antivirus programs are rogue AVs. Many very trustworthy companies such as Microsoft, AviraAvastNorton, and more offer a free version or free trial of their security software. Simply because something is free does not necessarily mean that it is malware, however nearly all rogue antivirus programs appear as free products. This makes identifying them a bit challenging.
At Top 5 Antivirus Software we only list tried and tested reputable antivirus providers.

Can Antivirus Programs Spy On Me?

Antivirus software is not meant to spy on you, however these programs do have access to all of your files and information. This does not mean that they will spy on you, and reputable antivirus companies would never access or save your personal information without your consent.
You should note that there are many trustworthy security programs that do monitor your activity and send back reports to their servers for further analyses. This is done in order to learn more about their users and new potential threats so that they can improve the security products that they provide. Even so, companies that do this will still inform you and ask for your permission first. Make sure to read the entire install process and go through all of the settings if you don’t want this feature to be turned on.

A few tips on how to avoid downloading rogue security software

As we stated before, not all free antivirus programs are rogue AVs. There are steps you can take to ensure you won’t get “tricked” by these fraudulent programs and to tell the difference between a program that is malware and one that is trustworthy.

The Company

First, look at the company or brand name of the product you are interested in downloading. Visit their website and do a little research online to find out if they are a reputable company and to see if there are any reviews or articles that mention scams.
Only download if you know that the creator is reliable and trustworthy.

The Origin

Where you are downloading it from makes a difference. Once you know that the company is trustworthy, download only from their website. This is done in order to avoid rogue security software that claim to be created by top security companies, when in fact they are not.


The internet offers a wealth of information. Make sure you read reviews from reputable websites before you download anything. only lists and reviews reputable antivirus products that have been tried and tested.


It can be daunting knowing that even antivirus products can be potential threats in disguise, but as long as you follow these very simple tips, you can rest assured that you are safe. It is important to have a good security suite installed on your computer, so don’t let the threat of rogue antivirus software scare you off. There are many other very dangerous threats out there that only a strong antivirus product can protect you from.

Alex Patel

Alex has paved a successful path as a software developer, with eight years of experience in the field. He is a master in his field, specializing in developing software components and improving malware detection. Alex has acquired vast knowledge in the area of cyber security, and is always looking for ways to share his knowledge.

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