Quick, our trustworthy program found issues that you need to address right now. Look, you have malware on your system which you need to remove asap. All you have to do is buy the premium version of our program or this add-on service to address these issues.
Maybe you encountered programs of the kind before, or helped friends, family or colleagues remove these programs after the fact from their systems.
Fake programs use coercive messaging to get users to purchase premium versions or additional services by using exaggerated reporting, giving users limited time to react, or by suggesting that the program is the only solution for the described issues.
Microsoft's Windows Defender Antivirus solution and other Microsoft security products will classify programs with coercive messaging as unwanted software starting March 1, 2018.
Microsoft updated the software evaluation criteria for malware and unwanted software recently to reflect the change.
Unwanted behaviors: coercive messaging
Programs must not display alarming or coercive messages or misleading content to pressure you into paying for additional services or performing superfluous actions.
Software that coerces users may display the following characteristics, among others:
Reports errors in an exaggerated or alarming manner about the user’s system and requires the user to pay for fixing the errors or issues monetarily or by performing other actions such as taking a survey, downloading a file, signing up for a newsletter, etc.
Suggests that no other actions will correct the reported errors or issues
Requires the user to act within a limited period of time to get the purported issue resolved
Microsoft classified other behavior as unwanted in the past. This includes programs that make "exaggerated claims about the system's health," "make misleading or inaccurate claims about files, Registry entires, or other items on the system," or "decrease computer reliability".
Programs classified as unwanted software may be blocked from being downloaded to the system or installed. Microsoft mentioned furthermore that unwanted software would be removed automatically from Windows systems if detected.
Software developers and companies are asked to validate their applications on the Windows Defender Security Intelligence portal. Windows users and administrators may report programs with unwanted behavior -- be it through coercive messaging or other means -- to Microsoft for evaluation.
It is time that Microsoft puts an end to this practice. While some users may dislike the fact that Microsoft will remove these programs automatically if installed already on user systems, it is probably fair to assume that most users will find this helpful especially if you consider that these programs are snake oil at best. (via Deskmodder and Dr.Windows)
Advertising revenue is falling fast across the Internet, and independently-run sites like Ghacks are hit hardest by it. The advertising model in its current form is coming to an end, and we have to find other ways to continue operating this site.
We are committed to keeping our content free and independent, which means no paywalls, no sponsored posts, no annoying ad formats (video ads) or subscription fees.
If you like our content, and would like to help, please consider making a contribution:
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.