Don’t Fall for the ScanGuard Scam
We are still getting emails from people who write asking about ScanGuard. A few weeks ago, we wrote an article about ScanGuard, but legitimate tech sites are advertising ScanGuard now, and many of you think because you saw it advertised on a legitimate tech site, that ScanGuard is also legitimate.
What it means when you see ScanGuard advertised on a legitimate tech site is that that site cares more about money than about you. ScanGuard is a scam. They use advertising that is deceptive, for instance making the advertising look like a breaking news story. And since ScanGuard affiliates are making up to $70 a sale. So just because you see ScanGuard advertised on a legitimate tech site, it doesn’t mean that ScanGuard isn’t a scam, it just means the tech site is more interested in making money than they care about you.
Here’s the article we wrote about ScanGuard and nothing has changed since we wrote it – except that ScanGuard is paying affiliates more money for recommending it.
ScanGuard: Another Day, Another Miracle PC Program
“We can clean up, speed up, and protect your computer automatically.” “We can make your computer run like new with just two clicks.” “We can protect and speed up your computer with one click.”
There doesn’t seem to be any end to the snake oil flowing from the Web. In the past few weeks, thanks to a big advertising budget, and a lot of ads on Facebook, one of these one-click wonders has caught the attention of many of our readers, some of them have written to us to ask if it this one-click wonder is any good.
Recently…Many tech sites and newspapers/magazines say their Internet investigator or tech writer recommends it. They make the ads look like breaking news.
“PC Owners Urged to Do This Today!
If you live in the U.S and have a windows computer that is older than 6 months old, or just not running how you would like it, then this may be the most exciting article you ever read. Thousands of people across the U.S are rushing to get their hands on the latest system that is speeding up computers and protecting them from malware in minutes…” (or it will say if you live in Australia, or the UK, etc. as it is country-specific).
But it is nothing more than the same old snake oil we’ve all heard a thousand times. And the snake oil currently making the rounds is “Scanguard”
First, let’s look at some of the claims Scanguard makes (these claims come from the Scanguard Web site).
Is your device clogged up with duplicate files wasting space? Our File Manager will help locate and remove any file with duplicate characteristics in just a few clicks.
Over time your computer will naturally slow down, we help identify specific errors and programs which impact performance to get you back in the game.
We understand that privacy is important which is why we prevent unauthorized access to your private data with our Two-Way Firewall.
Let us assist in improving your internet browsing speed. We will improve performance in a matter of seconds by managing unwanted caching and old history.
Our full system scan will locate, quarantine and eliminate malware, trojans and more insuring you are protected against harmful viruses.
Let’s go over each of these claims, briefly. Yes, I know that’s hard to fathom, but I’m going to try to be brief.
The first claim is that they can boost your memory by removing duplicate files? RAM is your computer’s memory. It stands for Random Access Memory. The more RAM your computer has, the more memory it has, removing duplicate files has nothing to with RAM.
The next claim is that your computer slows down with age. I think they have your computer confused with us. We slow down with age, but our computers do not necessarily slow down with age. But the troubling part is “we help identify specific errors and programs that impact performance to get you back in the game”. That’s a beautifully written piece of sophistry. What errors? What programs? Give me an example. And what do they mean by back in the game? At least that’s better than “make your computer run like new”. You can never come back to them and tell them they didn’t put you back in the game. Right? What the heck does “back in the game” mean? It’s supposed to make you think “run like new”, without saying it, since they have to know it’s not true.
They’re going to add a firewall. They claim that their new firewall will to protect your data. They tout a “two-way” firewall. Windows already has a two-way firewall. So what? If you believe a firewall is going to protect your personal data, go talk to companies like Target and Yahoo, who both, we’re sure, have very expensive firewalls, yet they’ve had massive amounts of data stolen either because they were hacked in spite of their firewalls, or because one or more of their employees were tricked into giving up their passwords. See this story from the “Boston Globe” how an employee of a large company was tricked into clicking a link in an email that led to a breach that led to the theft of the personal information, including Social Security numbers, of thousands of people.
Most of the time, on your PC, you data is not stolen because you do or don’t have a firewall. It’s stolen because you’re tricked into giving up your passwords and logins. That’s most individuals have their data stolen, not for lack of firewalls. We’re not saying you don’t need a firewall, we’re saying they don’t prevent identity theft – and if you’re using Windows 7, 8.1 or Windows 10, you already have a “two-way” firewall
We have to give credit where credit is due. These people should be in politics. They have such a way with words.
“Browsing Performance — Let us assist in improving your internet browsing speed. We will improve performance in a matter of seconds by managing unwanted caching and old history.” It’s a wonder that whoever wrote that isn’t in parliament (it’s an English company). They want to assist – who? Who do they want to assist? The user? The Web? The universe? The prime minister? Another great and nebulous phrase follows ” Internet browsing speed”. That’s supposed to, we can only imagine, make you think their program is going to make your internet connection faster. But that is not true, so they say “internet browsing speed”. Clever. The next sentence is masterful — “We will improve performance in a matter of seconds by managing unwanted caching and old history.” What is “unwanted caching”? Every site is cached, otherwise, you couldn’t see it. Caching speeds up the loading of Web pages. What is “old history”. If it’s history, it can’t be “new”. It can be recent, but not new. That being said, removing your old browsing history, maybe good housekeeping, but it’s not going to speed up your Internet connection, or even your “Internet browsing speed” whatever you think that nebulous term means.
And finally: “Anti Virus – Our full system scan will locate, quarantine and eliminate malware, trojans and more insuring you are protected against harmful viruses.” We did some research. We could not find Scanguard listed on an independent antivirus testing lab – or in any independent antivirus testing lab’s test results. The other stuff they say is just fluff, and if you believe it, you’re just going to be out the $49 (per year) they charge. But trusting your computer to an antivirus that does not show up on any of the major independent antivirus testing lab’s test results, is taking a chance with your security and online safety.
This program is like all the other one-click wonders – except it adds a twist of antivirus. And we couldn’t find any antivirus lab results listing Scanguard. The last big one-click wonder to advertise heavily on Facebook was SpeedFix Tool — which you can read about here. We are throwing Scanguard into the same basket with SpeedFix Tool – with one extra caveat – we would not trust its antivirus component.
The verdict: You don’t need Scanguard. In our opinion, if you buy it, you’ll be wasting $49. If you have an extra $49 you don’t know what to do with, let us know!!
As long as we’re playing the game of unsubstantiated claims::
I am 2.5 times wiser than EB.
I can run 1.8 times faster than EB.
Additional reading about Scanguard:
Microsoft forums: https://goo.gl/cuvvqa
Bleeping Computer: https://goo.gl/qPhgbR