Microsoft has decided to block and remove programs that try to convince users to buy solutions that are supposed to help optimize their system. These are typically applications such as system optimization tools, malware cleaners, or registry cleaners. These programs, which are increasingly popular, claim to scan computers for errors, and then use alarming messages to scare customers into buying a premium version of the same program. The paid version of these programs claims to correct the problems found by the free version.
“We find this practice problematic because it can push customers to make unnecessary purchasing decisions,” says Barak Shein of Windows Defender Security Research. To protect its customers, Microsoft has decided to update its evaluation criteria to specify that programs must not use alarming or compelling messages that may prompt users to make a purchase or perform other actions. .
“We use the evaluation criteria to determine which programs are identified as malicious software and unwanted software. In the future, programs displaying compelling messages will be classified as unwanted software, detected and deleted, “says Microsoft. Starting March 1, 2018, Windows Defender and other Microsoft security products will classify such programs as unwanted software and will be detected and removed.
Microsoft encourages users to report programs that display such unwanted behaviors. If you’re a developer, and want to make sure your software meets Microsoft’s evaluation criteria, you can submit it for analysis on the Windows Defender Security Intelligence portal. This will help you find out if your software is classified as a threat, unwanted software or a normal file, and how to correct the problem if your software does not comply with the evaluation criteria.