Have you ever tried having a sudden pop-up of illegal minors in pornograhic images in your computer in the midst of doing work or surfing the net? Such scenario is alarming enough but even before you can close that window, a warning screen from the National Security Administration’s Internet Surveillance Program suddenly comes out telling you that your computer has been locked because of suspicious download and distribution of illegal content.
By now, you’d really be on the edge of your seat wondering how that could be when you’re just minding your own business in your corner of the cyberworld. And while still puzzling over it, you are then offered a choice of whether to pay a fine pronto or be prosecuted for illegal download of pornographic images.
Now, if such threat has scared you off your wits, don’t be because all that you’ve been led to believe is nothing but a cyber scam. According to the SC Magazine, this modus operandi was created by people based in Russia. Sad to say, such hoax has increasingly fooled a lot of people. The security internet company McAfee says that there were fewer than 25,000 ransomware samples catalogued in the first 2 quarters of 2011 but by the 2nd quarter of 2013, this number has skyrocketed to more than 320,000 new samples. What’s more, most of these cyber scams bring authoritative names like law enforcement and federal agencies worldwide.
With such advance evolution of these rackets, you need to be all the more alert in keeping yourself from becoming a victim. To help you avoid such from happening, we have here a list of five link examples that are best NEVER EVER clicked.
This is much like the example stated above wherein you would either accidentally click on sudden pop-up ads that are actually spam or receive an email comes with a link that would direct you to the site of pornographic images.
Avoidance: Pay attention to what you’re clicking. Likewise, go for businesses that are secured bound as they have websites that are tested at least once a year for any vulnerabilities. After which, fix security gaps to avoid getting trapped in them.
2. Unfamiliar Mobile Apps
These scammers never fail to keep up with the trend. As mobile apps have risen in popularity, they are now doing their hocus pocus in that arena as well. McAfee reports that Android phones increased by 35% to nearly 18,000 samples during the second quarter of 2013. These can take many forms like it may seem like from your bank or swindle you into paying for a dating app that doesn’t even exist. The latest development is what they dub as “weoponized” apps that are legitimate but turns real programs into spying more out to get your location, contacts and other important data to be given to the black market.
Avoidance: No matter how curious you are of the mobile app, discipline yourself and don’t click on it immediately. Do a research about it first to ensure that it’s legitimate before you download it.
3. Remote Access
The latest known version of this scam is having men pretend to be Microsoft employees who send emails or text messages warning you that your computer has been infected with a virus and then a link where you can connect with the pretend Microsoft employee, who can resolve such problem, follows. They usually claim that they work with Microsoft as personnel of the Helpdesk or part of the Research and Development department. The Better business Bureau states that once these swindlers have access to your system, they are now free to install malware, steal personal data, have complete remote control of your computer or lead consumers to fake websites where they are asked to give credit card details.
Avoidance: Never even give out any information to someone you don’t know, even if they claim to be employees from any established computer company. If you have a relationship with the company they are associating themselves with, call and confirm with the organization before giving out any details and respond only to the person who belongs in the appropriate department. If you are the one who called or connected with the other party though, then that’s the time you can give out personal data since it’s you who initiated the contact.
4. Authority Scams
This type of cyber scam is generally very appealing to scammers because they can easily scare innocent people into giving instant responses to the data that they need to have. Kapersky Lab says, internet users all over the world received phishing attacks everyday from May 2012 to April 2013. Such attempts have 20% of these swindlers pretending to be bank representatives. Also, among fake websites, 50% impersonated banks, credit card establishments and financial services like PayPal.
Avoidance: Bear in mind that no reputable financial institution would ever ask you give such sensitive data online or on the phone. So any warnings that you receive followed by a message that acts for these kinds of information is nothing but a complete rip-off so don’t be fooled into giving out any of your bank or credit card information.
5. Drug Spam
If you’ve noticed, emails have become means of carrying viruses that can either damage your computer system or have messages trying to weasel money out from you. Subjects can be random whether about shopping discounts, travel, news, sex and the mostly used, drugs. McAfee says this comprises 20% of all spam emails sent to US people. It basically serves as a delivery service notification from people claiming to be employees from FedEx or UPS who say that they can’t deliver a package but still came in to deliver it to you after all.
Avoidance: For starters, we’re talking about medicinal drugs here and that’s can’t be just given at random so double check with the shipper that they claimed to be from. This can save you from having your bank account or health, for that matter, suffer.
So, there you have a list of five deadly links you should refrain from clicking so you could save yourself from being victimized with a cyber scam. These scammers are quick in updating new versions of their malware but we, at Compushooter, firmly believe that if we educate ourselves about what these scams are, we can certainly beat them at their game. For more information about how to deal with cyber scams or if you want to have your computer protected from any potential infection, do give us a ring at 480-464-0202.