Other Web publishers have had similar problems. Late last year, criminals snuck similar ads on Google and Microsoft's ad networks, causing malicious advertisements to pop up all over the Internet.
Legitimate software companies do not bombard their users with pop-up messages, so when this happens, users should immediately "kill" their browsers (in Windows, this can be done in the Task Manager, which pops up when ctrl-alt-del are pressed simultaneously). Running the computer in user-level mode, instead of admin mode will also prevent the scareware problem, said Roger Thompson, chief research officer with antivirus vendor AVG. "Most operating systems are pretty safe if you do that," he said in an instant message interview. "Use the user-level account most of the time and only log in as admin if you need to upgrade."
Despite the FBI arrests, scareware products are still going to be a problem because so many people are involved in pushing these fake products, Thompson said. "The problem is that they keep teaching other people how to work the scam," he said. "They create real companies and hire programmers and marketers...and then they get shut down, but they've taught 100 other people how it works."