Windows Defender to protect against apps that show coercive messages

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    Windows Defender to protect against apps that show coercive messages

    Windows Defender to protect against apps that show coercive messages


    Posted: 31 Jan 2018

    There has been an increase in free versions of programs that purport to scan computers for various errors, and then use alarming, coercive messages to scare customers into buying a premium version of the same program. The paid version of these programs, usually called cleaner or optimizer applications, purportedly fixes the problems discovered by the free version. We find this practice problematic because it can pressure customers into making unnecessary purchase decisions.

    To help protect customers from receiving such coercive messaging, we are updating our evaluation criteria to specify that programs must not use alarming or coercive messaging that can put pressure on customers into making a purchase or performing other actions. We use the evaluation criteria to determine what programs are identified as malware and unwanted software. In the future, programs that display coercive messaging will be classified as unwanted software, detected, and removed.

    This update comes in addition to our other long-standing customer protection requirements designed to keep our customers from being deceived by programs that display misleading, exaggerated, or threatening messages about a system’s health. In February 2016, we required cleaner and optimizer programs that purport to clean up systems and optimize performance to provide customers with detailed information about what purportedly needs to be fixed. This requirement aims to protect customers from programs that present aggregate “error” results with no specific details, without providing customers with the ability to assess and validate the so-called errors.

    We have recently updated our evaluation criteria to state:

    Unwanted behaviors: coercive messaging

    Programs must not display alarming or coercive messages or misleading content to pressure you into paying for additional services or performing superfluous actions.

    Software that coerces users may display the following characteristics, among others:

    • Reports errors in an exaggerated or alarming manner about the user’s system and requires the user to pay for fixing the errors or issues monetarily or by performing other actions such as taking a survey, downloading a file, signing up for a newsletter, etc.
    • Suggests that no other actions will correct the reported errors or issues
    • Requires the user to act within a limited period of time to get the purported issue resolved

    Starting March 1, 2018, Windows Defender Antivirus and other Microsoft security products will classify programs that display coercive messages as unwanted software, which will be detected and removed. If you’re a software developer and want to validate the detection of your programs, visit the Windows Defender Security Intelligence portal.

    Customer protection is our top priority. We adjust, expand, and update our evaluation criteria based on customer feedback and in order to capture the latest developments in unwanted software and other threats. We encourage our customers to submit programs that exhibit unwanted behaviors related to coercive messaging, or other unwanted or malicious behaviors in general.

    Barak Shein

    Windows Defender Security Research


    Source: Protecting customers from being intimidated into making an unnecessary purchase Microsoft Secure
    Brink's Avatar Posted By: Brink
    31 Jan 2018


  1. Posts : 7,257
    Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
       #1

    Microsoft Drops the Hammer on Coercive Registry Cleaners & System Opti


    Microsoft Drops the Hammer on Coercive Registry Cleaners & System Optimizers

    Starting March 1st 2018, Windows Defender and other Microsoft products will begin to remove programs that display coercive behavior designed to pressure a user into purchasing their software. This includes registry cleaners and system optimizers that offer free scans, detect issues with alarming messages, and then require the user to purchase the product before fixing anything.

    Windows Defender to protect against apps that show coercive messages-scan-results-1-.jpg

    Source: [link]
      My Computers


  2. Posts : 7,257
    Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
       #2

    oi Sean! I checked for existing articles too!
      My Computers


  3. Posts : 25,687
    Windows 11 Pro 22621.160
       #3

    swarfega said:
    oi Sean! I checked for existing articles too!
    Then all software that is not from The Store
      My Computer


  4. Posts : 384
    Window 10
       #4

    Josey Wales said:
    Then all software that is not from The Store
    Not even close. Read the statement. Your statement is a fantasy away from what it says.
      My Computer


  5. Posts : 5,478
    2004
       #5

    They should look to their own outlook.com and Skype apps then. Always bugging me to buy Office 365 subscription or spend money on some idiot sport betting site.

    It is not a bad idea but one persons idea of "coercive" is another persons idea of "advertisement".

    I find outlook.com adverts only mildly irritating but the ones on Skype are pretty coercive frankly. Especially if you have a gambling problem which they clearly think I have (it is all I see anyway for some reason).

    If they are not designed to "put pressure on customers into making a purchase or performing other actions" then what are they for? Decoration?
      My Computer


  6. Posts : 25,687
    Windows 11 Pro 22621.160
       #6

    PJLLB said:
    Not even close. Read the statement. Your statement is a fantasy away from what it says.
    You read it. I do not need MS deciding what I install on My PC.

    • Reports errors in an exaggerated or alarming manner about the user’s system and requires the user to pay for fixing the errors or issues monetarily or by performing other actions such as taking a survey, downloading a file, signing up for a newsletter, etc.
    • Suggests that no other actions will correct the reported errors or issues
    • Requires the user to act within a limited period of time to get the purported issue resolved

    Starting March 1, 2018, Windows Defender Antivirus and other Microsoft security products will classify programs that display coercive messages as unwanted software, which will be detected and removed. If you’re a software developer and want to validate the detection of your programs, visit the Windows Defender Security Intelligence portal.
    Customer protection is our top priority. We adjust, expand, and update our evaluation criteria based on customer feedback and in order to capture the latest developments in unwanted software and other threats. We encourage our customers to submit programs that exhibit unwanted behaviors related to coercive messaging, or other unwanted or malicious behaviors in general.

      My Computer


  7. Posts : 1,561
    Windows 10 Home 20H2 64-bit
       #7

    lx07 said:
    They should look to their own outlook.com and Skype apps then. Always bugging me to buy Office 365 subscription or spend money on some idiot sport betting site.
    Aren't those cookie ads? That's not really what this is about. This is about free software that's trying to lure you into a premium by telling you lies or misleading information about your computer. I doubt Microsoft will try to tell you that your computer is about to die if you don't buy Office 365.
      My Computer


  8. Posts : 25,687
    Windows 11 Pro 22621.160
       #8

    Faith said:
    Aren't those cookie ads? That's not really what this is about. This is about free software that's trying to lure you into a premium by telling you lies or misleading information about your computer. I doubt Microsoft will try to tell you that your computer is about to die if you don't buy Office 365.
    The majority of freeware does this. I do not need a watchdog, MS seems to think that their user base is full of users that for lack of a better word- "Can't Read"
      My Computer


  9. Posts : 1,561
    Windows 10 Home 20H2 64-bit
       #9

    Josey Wales said:
    The majority of freeware does this. I do not need a watchdog, MS seems to think that their user base is full of users that for lack of a better word- "Can't Read"
    Which is probably the truth. Though freewares doesn't need to lie or spread misinformation to gain monetary access in my opinion.
      My Computer


 

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