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How to remove a Trojan spyware alert


There’s a vast number of viruses and scams on the internet. And one of the most common ones is the Trojan spyware alert, which is a variant of the technical support scam.

As with most other scams of this nature, the scammer attempts to trick potential victims into believing their machine has been infected by Trojan spyware so that they will call the number provided. Users who phone up will usually be told to provide remote access to their computers or even to hand over their payment details for services or programs they don’t need.

If you receive a pop-up like this, avoid the scam by closing it straight away, and do not call the number provided.

If you’re having trouble removing a Trojan spyware alert from your computer, we’ve got a handy step-by-step guide to help you get rid of it. This article also includes plenty of tips and tricks to avoid viruses while you’re online. Let’s get started.

Security tip

The easiest way to avoid Trojan spyware alerts or any other virus is to use strong antivirus security, such as TotalAV. It has a sophisticated suite of security features, along with real-time protection and cloud scanning.

What is a Trojan spyware alert?

The Trojan spyware alert is a variant of the technical support scam that pretends to be from Microsoft or Apple. It aims to trick users into thinking their computer has been infected with a virus and tries to scare them into calling a number provided to resolve the issue.

Trojan spyware alert

The pop-up will typically be styled as an official warning from Microsoft or Apple, with the familiar color scheme, font, and brand logo, to gain the user’s trust, and it may also use audio to pressure users into calling. You likely won’t be able to close the window, so your browser will be effectively locked.

If you call the number, the scammer will usually ask you to download and install a program that will provide them with remote access to your machine. They will then be able to access your computer. The scammers will also attempt to persuade you to pay for completely unnecessary support services. And if you pay for anything with them, they can steal your credit card information.

NameTrojan spyware alert
TypeTechnical support scam
DeviceWindows PC or Mac
SymptomsPop-up errors, fake error messages and system warnings, hoax computer scans
DamageLoss of sensitive private information, stolen payment details, identity theft, potential malware infections

Why am I seeing the Trojan spyware fake alert on my PC?

If you see a Trojan spyware fake alert on your computer, it could be because your device has become infected with malware.

Alternatively, it could be because you’ve visited a website that has redirected your browser to a malicious site. Unfortunately, there are plenty of disreputable sites that display ads that will redirect to a tech support scam as a means of generating advertising revenue.

If you’ve been redirected to a Trojan spyware fake alert, close the page immediately and install an ad blocker to protect you from any other potentially harmful ads.

If, on the other hand, you haven’t clicked on any suspicious ads but you're continuously seeing a Trojan spyware fake alert that you can’t close, your computer has likely been infected with a malicious program.

Whatever you do, don’t call the number on the pop-up. Instead, download antivirus software and perform a scan so you can identify and remove the malware.

How to remove a Trojan spyware alert scam

If your computer has been infected with a Trojan spyware alert, do not call the number on the pop-up. Scammers encourage users to call so they can then trick them into paying for software they don’t need or granting remote access to their machines. This would mean that the scammers could steal your sensitive data, including payment details.

But there’s no need to panic because there are steps you can take to safely remove the virus yourself and minimize any risk in the future. Here, we’ve pulled together some helpful step-by-step guides to walk you through exactly how to do this on Windows and Mac.

Let’s begin with a quick guide on how to remove a Trojan spyware alert scam:

  1. Close the site immediately.
  2. Clear your browser data.
  3. Reset your browser setting and relaunch the browser.
  4. Uninstall any suspicious apps (more info on how to do this is provided below).
  5. Perform an antivirus scan. Even though both Windows and Mac have built-in antivirus software, we recommend getting TotalAV. It will provide your with robust security.

If you need more information on how to perform each step, follow the detailed instructions below.

How to remove a Trojan spyware alert on Windows

Let's go through detailed steps on how to remove a Trojan spyware alert on Windows.

Step 1: Shut down the site

Sadly, many sites generate revenue by linking to sites that contain Trojan spyware alerts. So if you’ve just noticed the pop-up for the first time and it’s limited to your browser, it might well be that you’ve been redirected to a malicious site. If this is the case for you, close the site immediately. This could well be enough to eradicate the threat.

Step 2: Clear your browser data on Chrome

If step one doesn’t get rid of the spyware alert, or if you’re in any way still concerned, you might want to consider clearing the cache of your browser. If you use a Windows machine, follow these steps on Chrome browser:

  1. Click on the three dots on your browser (or three lines, depending on your browser).
  2. Scroll down until you find More Tools.
  3. Navigate to Clear Browsing Data. Alternatively, this can be achieved with a shortcut on your keyboard: Ctrl+Shift+Del. clear-browsing-data
  4. Click on it and choose Advanced at the top.
  5. Tick all the options apart from Passwords, and hit Clear Data. clear-data

Step 3: Reset your Chrome browser settings

If you’ve cleared your data cache and the fake alert hasn’t gone, the next thing to try is resetting your browser settings. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Click the same three dots or three lines at the right top corner as you did to clear your data.
  2. Select Settings. google-settings
  3. Scroll down the menu on the left, and find Reset and Clean Up. Bear in mind it may have a slightly different name, depending on which browser you’re using.
  4. Restore Settings to their original defaults and click Confirm.
  5. Relaunch the browser to see if the issue has been resolved.

Step 4: Uninstall any suspicious apps

If you’ve tried these steps and the problem is still persisting or the pop-up comes back, it might be that your computer has become infected with a virus. This could be a Potentially Unwanted Application (PUA) or scareware.

If this has happened to you, the first thing to do is to uninstall any apps that you’ve recently downloaded that could be malicious. You should be particularly suspicious of any free apps that may have been pirated, such as an MP3 converter.

To uninstall a suspicious app on your Windows computer, this is what you need to do:

  1. Go to Start or click on the search bar at the left-hand bottom corner.
  2. Start typing Programs and click on Add or Remove Programs.
  3. Look for suspicious applications and uninstall them. uninstall-program-windows

Step 5: Perform an antivirus scan

If you’ve uninstalled any apps that could be malicious and you’re still being plagued with Trojan spyware alerts, that means the virus is still infecting your machine. Therefore, the only thing for it is to perform an antivirus scan to help you detect and remove the problem.

Luckily, there are several options to help you to do this. Windows has antivirus software built in. But if you want more robust protection, we’d recommend downloading strong antivirus software, such as TotalAV.

Windows 10 has Microsoft Defender or Windows Defender built in to give your PC extra protection against malware. Although it’s better to use a dedicated antivirus program, such as TotalAV, here’s how to perform an antivirus scan using the built-in Windows software:

  1. Click on Start and select Settings.
  2. Hit Update & Security and find Windows Security.
  3. Choose Virus & Threat Protection.
  4. Look under Current Threats and choose either Quick Scan or Threat History.
  5. Click on Scan Now and wait for the software to identify any security threats.

How to remove a Trojan spyware alert on Mac

Removing a Trojan spyware alert on Mac won't be as challenging when following our detailed steps.

Step 1: Shut down the site

If you’ve noticed a fake Trojan spyware alert for the first time, it’s likely that you’ve been redirected to a scam site. Close down the site straight away and see if that resolves the issue.

Step 2: Clear your data on Safari

If you shut down the website and you’re still seeing a fake alert, the next step is to clear your data on your browser. Here’s how to do this on Safari:

  1. Make sure you have Safari open, then go to the top menu bar, find Develop, and hover the mouse over it.
  2. Use the dropdown menu to find Empty Caches. empty-cache-mac
  3. Click the History option on the top menu bar
  4. Choose Clear History and clear all of it. clear-history-mac

Step 3: Reset your browser settings on Safari

If you’re still getting fake Trojan spyware alerts on your Mac, the next step is to reset your browser settings by following these simple steps:

  1. Go to the Safari menu at the top left-hand of your screen and select Preferences.
  2. Click on Privacy at the top of the Preferences window.
  3. Hit the Manage Website Data button and click Remove All.
  4. A pop-up will appear to check you are sure you want to remove all data stored by the websites on your Mac. Confirm that you want to Remove All.

Step 4: Uninstall any suspicious apps on Mac

To get rid of an app that has infected your Mac computer, just follow these quick steps:

  1. Click on the Finder icon and choose Applications.
  2. Look for the suspicious app and remove it by dragging it to the Trash. applications-mac

Step 5: Perform an antivirus scan on Mac

Like Windows, Macs have built-in antivirus software. Having said that, it’s not as sophisticated as the protection you’d get from a dedicated antivirus provider. But if you just want to use Apple’s offering, here’s what you need to do to identify potential malware on your Mac:

  1. Go to Finder, select the Applications folder, and choose Utilities.
  2. Launch the Activity Monitor and click % CPU column to sort from high to low.
  3. Look for any processes and apps that have particularly high CPU use and quit those by hitting the X button in the top-left corner.
  4. If you notice any other suspicious processes, google them to see if they could be malware.

How can I protect my PC against viruses?

To avoid technical support scams or any other virus, you should start taking precautions to protect your PC. To help you do this, we’ve put together a list of useful tips to help you to keep your computer free from malware:

  • Never click on suspicious ads. The sad fact is that some less reputable sites make money by redirecting users to technical support scams or other malicious sites that could lead to your machine becoming infected. To be safe, avoid clicking on any pop-ups unless you’re completely sure they’re reliable.
  • Do not open dubious email attachments. One of the quickest ways for malware to be distributed en masse is with malicious email campaigns. The perpetrators will attach infected files and send them out to unsuspecting users. Therefore, you should never open files or emails unless you’re sure you know the sender.
  • Do not click on questionable links on social platforms. Once a social media account has been hacked, it’s very easy for malware to spread throughout that person’s friend or follower list. So it’s vital to make sure that your friend’s account hasn’t been hacked before you click on any potentially risky links.
  • Perform regular updates for your OS and apps. Updates for apps and operating systems often include security patches that can stop cybercriminals from taking advantage of vulnerabilities. By making sure you’re on the latest version of your apps and OS, you have a better chance of avoiding malware.
  • Protect your device with antivirus software. If you want complete real-time protection from malware, download strong antivirus software, such as TotalAV. It works by monitoring for potential threats so it can prevent malware attacks.

Conclusion

A Trojan spyware alert can be incredibly convincing. It will usually look like a genuine security alert from Windows or Apple and will ask you to call a number to remove malware from your machine. Scammers then rely on users to phone this number, so they can convince them to pay for unnecessary programs or gain remote access to the caller’s computer.

Luckily, if you get a Trojan spyware alert, you can usually remove it yourself quickly and easily. Often, closing your browser or deleting a suspicious app should be enough to resolve the problem. And if this doesn’t work, you may need to run an antivirus scan to detect and remove the threat.

Overall, it’s important to use reputable antivirus software to help you avoid malware. We recommend TotalAV, as it offers real-time protection, as well as anti-phishing capabilities and data breach monitoring to keep your device safe from viruses.

If you have any additional questions, please let us know in the comments section below, and one of our experts will respond.


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