Today, our world revolves around the Internet – and why not? Nearly everything we need can be found on it: information, jobs, friends and a lot more.
However, amidst all of these wonders that the Internet has to offer lurk entities ready to steal and destroy. These are the viruses. They have successfully toppled Web sites, caused trouble for companies and individuals.
And these viruses are insidious. The attack by taking advantage of man’s desires, hiding in places that promise to give us what we want.
Here are some examples of the latest scams that computer viruses use to attack us:
1. The fake job offer. People seeking jobs online are prime targets for the latest virus scams. Using e-mails promising employment opportunities as a cover, these viruses are able to penetrate users’ computers, stealing details of their bank account and enabling the e-mail sender to spirit away the poor job hunter’s cash.
These malware can also enable the sender of the virus to change the settings of the victim’s bank account, allowing wire transfers.
To avoid getting victimized by viruses in fake job offer e-mails, avoid opening job offers from companies you never applied to.
2. The antivirus virus. Viruses can enter your computer dressed as antivirus software. If this happens to you, you probably created the crack in your computer security by downloading a free “antivirus software” offered via e-mail or through a Web site.
Virus-laden e-mails and Web sites often send a message (usually, unsolicited) indicating how damaged or insecure your software is. They then provide you with a link that looks like it leads to a legitimate and well-known antivirus software’s Web site.
In reality, though, the moment you click on the link, you are in fact downloading the virus.
To avoid catching these types of viruses, always get your antivirus software directly from the manufacturer’s Web site; look for verification on the URL bar that this is, indeed, the real manufacturer’s site; and type in the domain name on the address bar rather than click on a link.
3. The offline installer. Just because you’re offline doesn’t necessarily mean you’re safe from viruses. Online predators have devised a way to get you online and become their easy prey.
How do they do it? A person claiming to be an expert in computer software calls your household and convinces you that your computer is loaded with viruses and malware.
He or she then offers his or her services via the Internet.
Once you are online, the person is able to install a virus into your computer, so he or she gets access to your files and documents.
He or she would also get the your credit card information as payment for the service. Before you know it, all your information has been acquired and your money is lost.
This is probably the most common form of computer virus scam today. Big enterprises have set up call centers just to scam unknowing users, making them think they’re talking to Microsoft’s finest computer engineers and revealing their credit card information to crooks.
Just knowing about these scams already goes a long way for you to protect yourself against them. But considering the risk, it’s best to make sure all cracks in your computer armor is sealed.
Make sure you’ve installed good and reliable antivirus software and have it updated every month or so. Today, in a world that has been digitized, new forms of theft abound. Technology’s wonders also breeds newer forms of evil, ready to strike once you let your guard down. Don’t let them get you.