Is ScanGuard Legitimate?


Just recently I’ve had a number of people ask me about a relatively new program called ScanGuard. The company behind ScanGuard describes it as “The All In One Security & Optimization Software” and, apparently, the software has been extensively advertised online, especially on Facebook. So, in view of the number of inquiries, I decided to take a closer look at the ScanGuard software.

ScanGuard Uncovered – The Software

It appears the company behind ScanGuard is not keen on users downloading a trial version so they can take a look at the software prior to purchasing. There is no “trial” download available on ScanGuard’s home page, in fact there are no download links at all. Clicking a conspicuous GET STARTED button merely initiates a popup asking you to create an account:

scanguard-signup

So, I entered a fictitious name and disposable email address and clicked the SIGN UP NOW button hoping to access some sort of download. Alas, the next page merely prompted me to pay $49US for the software including a section to input credit card details. No way José! I did manage to locate a list of phone numbers to contact for “billing inquiries only” and a quick call to the number listed for Australia connected me to a young lady with a distinctly offshore accent.

I eventually located a download link on a third party site so I installed ScanGuard in a pristine VM (virtual machine). Scanning the downloaded executable through Virus Total produced red flags from 3 antivirus engines:

virus-total-scan-result

That’s only 3 red flags out of a possible 55 and all from little known antivirus engines. Still, where there’s smoke there’s often fire. The installation process did not reveal any bundling or unwanted extras. Mind you, it was pretty much devoid of anything – no EULA to read, no “I Accept” or “Cancel” buttons, no options to change the default installation folder or where shortcuts are created – once you run the ScanGuard executable, installation proceeds quickly and without pause.


At completion of the installation process you are immediately required to create an account. Unlike most other online accounts, ScanGuard does not appear to be overly concerned with security – it doesn’t insist on you confirming the password by re-entering it and there are no rules governing the strength of the password, it can be anything. Make of that what you will but alarm bells rang for me. I chose a password that I’ve never used and will never use again.

As soon as the registration was completed ScanGuard updated its definitions and then scanned the system via 4 components – Antivirus, System Boost, Disk Cleaner, Web Security –  presenting its results at completion of the scan:

Click image for full size

Click image for full size

Results were not exaggerated and pretty much what one would expect, so no problem there. However, resolving any of the reported issues requires payment, even to clean up the measly 188MB of junk files. Click any of the buttons to fix issues and you’re immediately taken to ScanGuard’s payment page where your are urged to upgrade. So, if you see a link or ad for a free ScanGuard, don’t be fooled, nothing about ScanGuard is free.

Next, I checked ScanGuard’s presence in Task Manager which revealed 2 processes and one service running, pretty much the norm for this type of software.

ScanGuard Uncovered – Online Research

References:


The company behind ScanGuard is very difficult to nail down, there are no details on the site (no “About” page) and speculation among forum discussions uncovers a confused and convoluted ownership. The only review I could locate was from a site called “top10bestantivirus.com” which registered in October 2016, and, according to Whois, the ScanGuard site came online in June 2016. I do not believe in coincidence – the close proximity of the 2 sites startup dates and the fact that top10bestantivirus.com rates ScanGuard among its top antivirus solutions clearly suggests that the two are somehow connected – the logical scenario being that top10bestantivirus.com was specifically set up and designed to promote ScanGuard.

The other top selection from top10bestantivirus.com is an antivirus called “TOTALAV” and a visit to that website reveals it is almost identical in layout and design to the ScanGuard site, clearly suggesting that both AVs are one and the same. Furthermore, the top10bestantivirus.com and ScanGuard sites are both rated RED by Bitdefender TrafficLight and WOT.

trafficlight-warning-message

As I said, I don’t believe in coincidence.

ScanGuard – Bottom Line

It’s difficult to judge if ScanGuard is guilty of anything other than very aggressive marketing. While, in my case anyway, ScanGuard did not appear to directly adopt any typical scan and scare tactics and also appeared to perform its functions as advertised, there is enough circumstantial evidence to suggest that ScanGuard should be approached with extreme caution. Personally, I wouldn’t touch it with a barge pole.

UPDATE: Even while in the process of writing this article, it appears the ScanGuard site has been completely changed and is no longer rated Red by Bitdefender TrafficLight. One can only assume this was done in an attempt to overcome adverse publicity.

About the Author

Jim Hillier

Jim is the resident freeware aficionado at DCT. A computer veteran with 30+ years experience who first started writing about computers and tech back in the days when freeware was actually free. His first computer was a TRS-80 in the 1980s, he progressed through the Commodore series of computers before moving to PCs in the 1990s. Now retired (aka an old geezer), Jim retains his passion for all things tech and still enjoys building and repairing computers for a select clientele... as well as writing for DCT, of course.

4 Comments

  1. Can’t remember where I was encouraged to use Scanguard, but my antennae went up and did a bit of Googling on it; glad I did as there were many negative opinions on it.

  2. I noticed some confusion in text that caused me to do further research on the ScanGuard program. GLAD I DID!! I hope more seniors will do likewise. In short, I’m skipping this product.

  3. I am so glad I found your review. Scanguard is not good . About 1.5 yrs ago I somehow touched a small area with my knuckle while trying to tan another area of the screen and the next thing I know my screen pops up scanning being down revealing so called malware etc…as it continued to scan the faster and higher the number became which then stated unless I go to the next screen my computer which is Now 95% infected will completely shut down. i hit decline tab and my conputer started shutting down and i had no key control screen pops up pay 299.99 now to restore computer or it will completely stop. i did and scteen pops up demanding another 199.99 to complete task. i foolishly fid and immediately got phone call congratulating me on theor service whicj would restore and then watvhdog my conputer for another yr. i told them i didnt have that money etc… its been a nite mate but sibce have grown sone snarts after they told ne to do few things so they could take cate of my computer-delete application supremo. never allow anyone to control your computer. and regularly check your files for applications u are not fanilar with–unsure?google it read it deleye it. thank you and others of your example to help us with less knowledge how to understand and be aware. i have lost 2 pc’s for my trusting ways

  4. Thank you very much for the read. I enjoyed the information you shared. It’s unfortunate that so much BS is attempted upon us. Kudos to you for taking a few minutes to help us all. Looking forward to future posts.

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