Scareware is a scam that attempts to convince you to purchase antivirus software. Scareware includes pop-up messages that appear while you are surfing the Web that tell you your computer is infected with a virus. The message instructs you to order or use the antivirus software advertised in the pop-up message. This software actually installs malicious software (malware) that gains access to your computer system and sensitive information. To protect yourself, do not respond to Internet pop- up messages that claim to provide antivirus software, especially if it is hard to close and persistent.