The World Wide Web basically runs the world today. Almost everything that makes the world go round now is connected to the web as evident with the growing power and influence of the Internet of Things. Almost all homes have a computer or two or another computing device to address their digital needs. And while there are opportunities that you can explore, there are also dangers. Now that crooks know where the public’s play place is, they also target cybercriminal activities where the people are. As a precaution, there are software updates one can install to safeguard your device from viruses and other online bugs that may corrupt your system and render it useless aside from stealing your precious data.
However, some of these updates require users to pay for premium upgrades especially if they just started on the free ones. Fortunately, Microsoft is doing something about it and are cracking down on these programs that coerce users into shelling out a lot of money in exchange for better protection and services. But Microsoft is no longer happy that they scare off users and force them to buy something out of haste. Millions of computer users can benefit from this move as they are saved from paying for atrociously expensive premium upgrades that were not necessary in the first place but they were made to believe it is a must for them to do so.
While some users may not like Microsoft automatically deleting software from their computers, Microsoft is gunning for scareware-like free programs that coerce users into buying premium versions of the software that purportedly fixes the issues discovered by the freebie version.
You may not have downloaded that type of software, the kind that scans before claiming to have found hundreds of critical issues, ranging from software to performance problems, but you may have gotten calls from not-so-technically-inclined relatives or friends regarding the “found” problems. Alarmed Windows users who don’t have someone to consult may believe the only way to fix the issues is to buy the upgraded version of the free software.
Microsoft will now label these software programs as unwanted software. It is easy how to identify them as they mainly do not leave the user any choice as to whether or not they want an upgrade or not and other forms of coercive messages communicated to the user. Malicious software will also be included to further improve cyber safety and security as we have seen a drastic rise in the incidences of malware spread especially that of ransomware and other more bugs crawling on the web, waiting for a chance to strike unknowing preys.
Starting in March, Windows Defender will begin detecting and removing “cleaner” and “optimizer” applications that use coercive messages to scare people into upgrading to their paid versions. The programs in question typically offer to scan and discover problems with their free version, then ask users to pay to fix any problems that they purport to find, often with messages intended to scare.
The move comes in response to a rise in the number of these programs, Microsoft says in a new blog post. The company has updated its evaluation criteria to include the following
This will hopefully put an end to the heydays of coercive cleaners and they can no longer sell easily to naïve users. Computer users can now breathe a sigh of relief without having to deal with these pesky upgrades that ask for more and more from the people using their program when there are safe and cheap (even free) fixes to most computer issues you may have, so don’t just jump on these premium upgrades without exploring your options first because Microsoft got your back at last. This time around, Microsoft Defender will screen these free software versions first before they can scheme people out of their hard-earned money.