Top Computer Security Threats for 2013 and Beyond
The experts are saying the top computer security threats for 2013 and beyond are Online Fraud, Adware, and Mobile Malware.
Online Fraud includes things like the classic “Nigerian Letter” scam (you receive an email saying something like “We have received a large sum of money…we cannot claim this money in Nigeria…need a trustworthy person to provide an account where this money could be transferred in your Country…you can keep a portion of the money for your assistance”), charity donations, fake auctions, lottery scams, fake work-from-home job offers, fake “free offers”, and “Mystery Shopper” scams.
Adware is basically software that shows advertisements. They usually are pop-up windows or banners. They may entice you by telling you you’ve won something. A common Adware banner has flashing colored arrows and says that you have won a sweepstakes or drawing.
Some Adware may even tell you your computer is infected with spyware or viruses, and that you have to click on a button to “scan your computer”, or remove the viruses.
No matter how tempting, I recommend you NOT to click on these “ads” or banners – they may put a virus on your computer.
Some virus makers have designed pop-ups that look like a Microsoft Alert, but when you click “OK” or even “Cancel”, you may be installing a virus on your computer.
Some Adware might be appearing on your computer because it is attached to a free program you downloaded. Adware could be attached to computer games, weather updates, backgrounds you have download, programs or apps that claim to make your computer run faster, and file sharing programs.
The Adware may have cookies that monitor the sites you visit and create a “user profile” about you.
When you download anything you need to stop and check every step of the way to see if the screen says somewhere that you are also installing some type of “toolbar” or other program. You should be able to uncheck boxes, so that these extras (that often contain Adware) will not be installed on your computer.
Also, always read “Terms and Conditions” and “End User License Agreements” before downloading anything.
Mobile Malware is the same kind of viruses, worms, trojan horses, etc. that get on your desktop computer, but it’s aimed at Cellphones and Smartphones.
Most sources say the first software directed at smartphones, attacked in 2004. In 2013, Android is said to be the main target.
Common types of Mobile Malware:
- Apps that claim to be a free version of a paid App
- An App that claims to extend your device’s battery life
- A virus that can transmit personal information and/or read and send SMS messages
Viruses can spread through Bluetooth technology and infect your files, send these files to other people in your name, lock your memory card, transfer a virus to you PC, and use up your phone battery faster than usual.
It is important to look for anti-virus software designed for your Smartphone, as well as your Desktop computer.
If you have been the victim of any type of Online Fraud, or experienced Mobile Malware, please click the Comment link below and tell us your story.