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Microsoft Security Essentials is a valid antivirus-only product produced by Microsoft but there could be false versions circulating I suppose. However you are quite right in being concerned.
You should know however that no antivirus, no matter what the brand, will offer 100% guaranteed protection against everything out there. You have to surf wisely, be careful what you download and where you download from and never trust file sharing.
You haven't been ripped off by anyone as no antivirus makers claim to be 100% effective and they also all charge for professional one-on-one virus removal, if they offer that service at all, some do not do not even do that.
There are always cheap or free alternatives to professional virus removal.
If anything strange starts happening on your machine, do NOT click on anything at all. Power off immediately and then restart into Safe Mode and initiate System Restore to before it all happened.
There are also many other applications out there that can help in the battle and some of them are listed in the last link in my signature below.
Most importantly always keep all parts of your system up to date, including any that you may not use (for instance you may choose another browser to IE, but always make sure IE is totally up to date as it is used by many processes regardless).
Thank you ExBrit.
I don't expect perfection in a product. I do expect to be able to understand the people I am talking to. Their accents are so strong, that it is difficult for me.
I will save your e-mail, probably print it, so in the future so I know what to do in case I have a potential virus.
I don't believe I had a virus and I was told by two different people there at McAfee that I did not have a virus. I was told that I would receive a refund. Then, out of the blue, after he had assisted me on my computer, he says "oh, we found a virus." nothing more was done to get rid of this supposed virus. He sounded like he was lying to me.
They could have told me to follow the instructions you gave.I believe that instructions like that should be included in the price of the original program I bought. I suppose they are aware of the steps I could have taken. Easily,problem solved.
I will be shopping for new virus protection, which I thought I had.
You probably were speaking to support which is outsourced, like so many these days, offshore to save costs. In this case most support is in India.
He was not allowed to recommend other products and most likely has never heard of me anyway and is paid to steer to McAfee's services.
Rarely do support and these forums get mixed. However we Moderators liaise between you and them frequently.
I'm an unpaid volunteer here and am independent of McAfee, that's why I recommend some other things but even I have to be careful what things I recommend as we have limits too.
There are many independent anti-malware forums out there who specialize in this kind of thing. A few are listed at the bottom of my link.
Sorry you feel let down but I repeat, no antivirus company can offer 100% ironclad protection. If they do they're lying.
I hate to say it but you'll find exactly the same with the competition.