Users of Check Point’s Free ZoneAlarm Firewall are receiving a scary looking and alarming pop-up titled “Global Virus Alert.” It goes on to warn users that their computer needs another ZoneAlarm product in order to be safe from this threat. Normal computer users will usually go ahead and do whatever the pop-up suggests so as to stay secure.
But when I followed both links provided in the pop-up, I found that they lead to the same sales web-page and I got the impression that this was a marketing sales trick mostly used by rogue anti-malware software commonly known as “Scareware.”
Basically, “Scareware” alarms the user into purchasing a product in the belief that they will be completely safe from the supposed threat. But Check Point go further than this and include a comparison table claiming that the paid version of ZoneAlarm is the only product to offer protection from this trojan. They have basically trashed the ability of Avira Free, Avast Free, AVG Free, Trend Micro and Norton to protect against this threat.
Check Point then get even more greedy when you decide to purchase the product, by presenting you with yet another pop-up to convince you to purchase a 2 year subscription instead of what they have just recommended to the user!
For so long I have had to warn my family, friends and clients whenever I recommended ZoneAlarm Free Firewall because they could be intentionally tricked by the download page layout into getting the paid trial version instead of the free version. Thankfully, the different download versions are much clearer now.
As a consumer I am disappointed, and concerned for my clients who may end up parting with their cash unnecessarily. That is not to say that our computers are not at risk, but a product’s own quality should speak for itself. Check Point’s integrity has been degraded by this pop-up in my eyes (literally!).
What are your views on this kind of marketing? Comments below please.