Windows Defender removes harassing PC optimizer software starting March 1

By: Costea Lestoc
2 minute read
remove scareware

Many users have bumped into free software that scans their systems for all kinds of errors, and then they display various alarming messages in order to scare them into buying the premium version of that specific program that will save the day and fix the errors.

These apps and tools for cleaning or optimizing computers are causing problems because they are pressuring the users into purchasing programs that they would not really need.

Microsoft changes malware evaluation criteria

As a consequence of the problematic pushy software harassing users, Microsoft announced that it updated the malware evaluation criteria to include such programs. In other words, pushy software that displays pressuring messages will soon be classified as unwanted, and Microsoft’s Windows Defender Antivirus will remove them.

According to Microsoft, alarming messages and misleading content that pressure users into purchasing additional services will not be an issue anymore.

Goodbye scareware and other unwanted software

Here’s what the company means by these coercive messages:

  • Reports errors displayed in an alarming way that asks users to pay for fixing errors
  • Software that states that no other actions are able to correct reported errors
  • Programs that require the users to act within a limited amount of time to get the error fixed

Microsoft’s security software will remove unwanted programs such as the ones mentioned above starting March 1. Developers will be able to validate the detection of their own software via the Windows Defender Security Intelligence portal.

The company also asks users to submit pushy software reports for evaluation as soon as they encountered such programs.

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