I was recently working online on my computer, just minding my own business with an internet tab open and BAM! It happened just like that. A “security software” program popped up on my computer saying that my laptop had virus infections on almost every program on my computer.

The program claimed to say that my computer now was completely infected by viruses and wanted me to pay them $50 dollars for them to fix it. My anti-virus software had shown a clean system before going online.

This was clearly a scam.

Some hackers have created anti-security products. Then, to create sales, they create a pop-up that says there is a security threat. Often, clicking anywhere on the pop-up could cost you and your previously virus-free computer dearly.

Be careful not to click on these pop-ups (even on buttons that say “Leave” or “Resolve Security Issues Later”). Shut down your computer without even clicking on the top ‘x’ button usually used to close out the pop-up. You do not want to take any chances with ‘security’ related sales pitches. Trustworthy website and online security companies do not use pop-ups to attract new clients – only hackers do.

It’s scarier than needing your car fixed away from town. If you are woman, there is a 90% chance you will be charged more for services than if you are a man. There are still a few honest mechanics out there. I know three of them personally. But there are no pop-ups worthy of our trust and confidence. Keeping our anti-virus software up-to-date on our computers is important. And for business owners, keeping your site scanned for vulnerabilities against hackers is just as important.

Being safe from hackers is vital. There are a few trustworthy companies online that will not only protect your website, but will also give you a little seal to display on your website so that online consumers visiting your site know that they are shopping safely. Visitors can click on the seal which is linked to a certificate that explains all of the verification steps they had to go through to become a secure site.

For those of you thinking that SSL certificates protect websites, you are wrong. But we’ll leave that topic for another article. If you have put a significant amount of time and money into your online business, keep it safe with security for your computers (anti-virus software), your online transactions (SSL certificate) and your website (PCI approved security vulnerability scanning).