According to a New York Times article from last fall, Android devices are a new target for “ransomware”. These malicious software apps act similarly to the fake FBI virus scams that have been attacking Windows PCs for years. Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to help protect your Android smartphone or device from these scammers and their malware apps.
You’re online, watching a compilation video of cute kittens, and your home phone rings. A person claiming to be a representative from Microsoft tells you they detectsed a threat to your computer. The caller tries to frighten you into allowing a remote connection to your computer, showing you a bunch of warnings, maybe even some red error messages on your computer. The caller pressures you to take immediate action and buy their service because you are in imminent danger!
Last week we published an blog post about how to avoid being a victim of a phishising scam. We hope you took a minute to read it. Although some think the identity theft that happens on the Internet is techie wizardry, nearly all of it can be thrwarted by just being a little more aware of what you’re doing when you’re out on the big bad Web. Skepticism is always the best first line of defense against cyber criminals.
Has this ever happened to you? You open an “official-looking” email that looks like it’s from your bank, credit card, etc. The message is dire — someone may be messing around with your account, and only clicking on a link to “correct” or “verify” your account information will save you. Hurry! Quick! Do it now! Without even thinking about it, fear of loss drives you to click on the link and supply the information requested (and breaking one of the cardinal rules of online security in the process).
One of the great things about the Web is how it allows us to transact business remotely. Internet-based financial tools give us the ability to pay our bills online, manage bank accounts, or sell stuff we no longer need and buy whatever we want from the safety of our living rooms. (Sure beats running to the bank just to stand in line waiting for one of the two tellers on duty.)
Ah, the holidays. Once more, we’ve entered that magical time of the year. A time for joy, a time for laughter, a time for sharing happy memories with families and good friends… …and a time (it seems) when scammers come out of the woodwork to take advantage of people.
In order to protect yourself it’s important to understand how a phishing attack occurs. Phishing basically comes down to this: An identity thief composes an email that looks official and sends it out to a huge lists of emails that may be either generated by a computer or obtained by other sources. This official looking email ends up in your inbox and usually prompts you to do something like re-verify personal information, like your email address and password. There may be a link in the email that appears to take you to a legitimate website.
How effective is your strong password if an identity thief can change it themselves?
Plenty of attention has been given to helping find ways to generate stronger passwords–avoiding birthdays, pet names, phone numbers, and of course, the list of the most popular, such as “password”, “love”, “hope”, etc. But now that users are starting to make their passwords harder to guess, identity thieves are turning to a new weapon—the secret question.