Computer security company Symantec found 250 programs that promised to protect your computer from virus infections and then infected your computer.

These programs initiated 43 million attempts to prompt user installation between July 2008 and June 2009, Symantec reported.  The pitch warned users to click on some box on the screen to protect themselves from attacks that might happen any second.  Of course those who did click were immediately infected with a large group of dangerous programs collectively referred to as malware.

The most commonly reported rogue applications found during the study were “SpywareGuard 2008,” “AntiVirus 2008,” “AntiVirus 2009,” “Spyware Secure” and “XP AntiVirus.”

We have repeatedly written that we use “AVG Antivirus” and “Avira AntiVirus Personal” on our own computers. Both of these have been tested many times and both are free at download.com. The Avira program has been downloaded more than 60 million times, AVG AntiVirus more than 225 million times.

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