Borough of West ChesterInformation Technology TrainingSession 4, Holiday Bonus Edition Holiday Internet Scams To Avoid! December 6, 2011 William Mann, Chief Information Officer
Many of us are already shoppingonline, or will be soon, for the holidays."Cyber-criminals rub their hands withglee when they think of the holidays”.Shopping Online, Opening E-Cards andresponding to unsolicited emails offering“special deals” can be very dangerous.
You need to stay one step ahead of thisseasons cyber-scrooges, and make sureyou have protection for all of your internet-enabled devices.If you do not, you risk giving the bad guysthe biggest gift of all – yourpersonal and financialinformation."
Mobile MalwareMore of us are using our phones for shopping, toresearch products or to redeem coupons. TodayAndroid phones are "most at risk," citing "a 76percent increase in malware targeted at Androiddevices in the second quarter of 2011 making itthe most targeted smartphone platform."
Mobile MalwareA new type of malware has recently beenfound that targets QR (quick response)codes. QR codes are the digital barcodesthat consumers scan with their smartphone tofind good deals, or just to learn aboutproducts they want to buy.
Malicious Mobile AppsThese are mobile apps designed to stealinformation from smartphones, or send out expensivetext messages without a user’s consent.These dangerous apps are usually offered for free, andmasquerade as fun applications, such as games.
Malicious Mobile AppsFor example, last year, 4.6 million Android smart-phone users downloaded a suspicious wallpaperapp that collected and transmitted user data to asite in China.
Phony Facebook PromotionsWho doesn’t want to win some free prizes or get agreat deal around the Holidays?" One recentpopular scam promised two free airline tickets.This “scam” required participants to fill out multiplesurveys requesting personal information.Never Ever do this!
Scareware: Fake Antivirus / Security Update"Scareware is the fake antivirus software that trickssomeone into believing that their computer is at risk oralready infected so that they agree to download andpay for phony software.”
Scareware: Fake Antivirus / Security UpdateThese fake security programs are one of the mostcommon and dangerous Internet threats today, withan estimated 1 million victims falling forthis scam each day."
Holiday ScreensaversMany of us love our screensavers for special times ofthe years like Christmas. But some of the free onesare loaded with more than holiday cheer. Forexample a recent search for a Santa screensaverthat promises to let you fly with Santa in 3D ismalicious.
Holiday Phishing ScamsCyber scammers know that most people are busyaround the holidays so they tailor their emails andsocial messages with holiday themes in the hopes oftricking recipients into revealing personal information.
Holiday Phishing Scams A common holiday phishing scam is aphony notice from UPS, saying you have apackage and need to fill out an attached form to get itdelivered. This particular one made the roundsthrough our email last season.The form may ask for personal or financialdetails that will go straight into thehands of the cyber scammer.
Online Coupon ScamsWhether youre an extreme couponer or anoccasional one, the holiday season is rife with goodonline offers as well as malicious ones.Scammers know that by offering an irresistibleonline coupon, they can get people to hand oversome of their personal information..
Online Coupon ScamsOne popular scam is to lure consumers withthe hope of winning a free iPad. Consumersclick on a phishing site, which can result in anemail spam. Another is that consumers are offered an online coupon code and once they agree, are asked to provide personal information, including credit-card details, passwords and other financial data.
Hotel Wrong TransactionIn one recent example, a scammer sent out emailsthat appeared to be from a hotel, claiming that awrong transaction had been discovered on therecipient’s credit card. It then asked them to fill outan attached refund form.Once opened, the attachment downloadsmalware onto their machine.
“It” Gift Scams"When a gift is hot, not only do sellers mark upthe price, but scammers will also startadvertising these gifts on rogue websites &social networks, even if they don’t have them.Consumers could wind up paying for an itemand giving away credit card details only toreceive nothing in return."
Protecting YourselfNow that I scared everyone who are some tips forprotecting yourself online! Only download mobile apps from official app stores, such as iTunes and the Android Market, and read user reviews before downloading them.
Protecting Yourself Be extra vigilant when reviewing and responding to emails. Watch out for too-good-to-be-true offers on social networks. Never agree to reveal your information just to participate in a promotion. Don’t accept requests on social networks from people you don’t know in real life. Wait to post pictures and comments about your vacation until you’ve already returned home.
Protecting Yourself Run an anti-malware program on a regular basis. Download programs, especially anti-virus and anti- malware, from reputable websites not websites or warning messages that pop up on your screen.
What is a Computer Virus?The term computer virus is often used interchangeably with malware, though thetwo dont actually have the same meaning. In the strictest sense, a virus is aprogram that copies itself and infects a PC, spreading from one file toanother, and then from one PC to another when the files are copied or shared. Here are some recommended safe, free and effective anti-virus programs.Short DescriptionA virus is a • Microsoft Security Essentialsprogram that • AVG Anti-Virus 2012*copies itself and • Avira Free Antivirus*infects aPC, spreading toother PC’s. * Both of these applications also have paid versions.
What is Malware? The word Malware is short for malicious software, and is a general term used to describe all of the viruses, worms, spyware, and pretty much anything that is specifically designed to cause harm to your PC or steal your information. Here are some recommended safe, free and effective malware programs.Short Description • SpybotMalware is any • Malwarebytes Anti-Malwareprogram that isdesigned to stealpersonalinformation.