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SCAM ALERT: A large window suddenly appears on your screen (often with a red background), and it tells you that some error has been detected. Usually, it will tell you "Do not power off your computer" and to call a telephone number on the screen. DON'T CALL THE TELEPHONE NUMBER.

NOTE: This is technically not a virus, but is what you might call a malicious browser pop-up. Typically, this pop-up appears after you've used your browser (Chrome, Edge, or Firefox). This pop-up will often disable your mouse, not allow you to open or close programs, and won't allow you to open the Start menu. It does this with HTML code in your browser.

WINDOWS 10/11 RESOLUTION: Despite the "warning", shutting down or restarting your computer will usually resolve this. The preferred way to restart is Step 1 below:

1.) On your keyboard, press the Ctrl-Alt-Del keys together. A menu will appear, and you'll select "Sign out".
Pressing Enter at the Lock Screen, you should get to the Windows login screen where you enter your password or PIN. You should see a power icon at the bottom-right of the screen. Click this icon, then click "Restart" (and "Restart Anyway", if prompted).

2.) If you can't do Step 1, press and hold your power-on button for a full 5 seconds (keep holding the button for the 5 seconds, even after your screen goes black); your computer will drop power. Wait 10 seconds, then power on again.

Once you're back in Windows, you should no longer see the malicious pop-up window. Re-open your browser, and your home screen should appear normally. (An exception to this is if your browser is set to "contiinue where you left off" at startup, which we don't recommend, and you may see the malicious pop-up window again. If this is the case, repeat Step 1. When you've restarted, don't open your usual browser, but you should be able to open another browser without problems. We can help you change the settings in your problem browser, or delete it's history. (You can often do this yourself by disconnecting your internet connection before opening the problem browser, then go into your browser to change its settings, then close the browser. Once that's done, you can re-connect your internet connection and re-open your browser without problems).

The malicous pop-up can occur after you've visited a particular website, an ad on the website, or did an internet search and clicked on any one of the search results. Hopefully, some day, a browser update will prevent this problem. Until then, we recommend you use either ESET Antivirus/ESET Internet Security, or Malwarebytes Premium, or both. These have website blockers that will block access to known-malicious websites.


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