To misquote Thomas Jefferson, the price of Internet security is eternal vigilance. The digital world attracts the mischievous and the malignant who are constantly developing new scams and viral programmes. It goes without saying that every web user should have virus detection software installed and regularly updated. A Spam Filter is an indispensable requirement. Never open emails or attachments if you are unsure of the sender. And be aware of the following vulnerabilities.
Last week it was reported that some 6 million passwords on the professional social site Linked In had been compromised by hackers. Subsequently, members have been targeted by email 'phishing' scams. Linked In have posted a warning on the web site advising members to change their passwords immediately. More generally, it is good security practice to change Internet passwords regularly and, regardless of the inconvenience, to use different passwords for every web site.
Over the past few days we have been inundated with spam emails carrying the heading 'Microsoft Notification' and purporting to originate from Windows Live. The emails contain a Windows Live 'friend' invitation. By clicking on the invitation link you will be taken to a web site that has been identified as unsafe by our virus detection software. A spate of unsolicited emails of this type is always a clue that a new scam is under way.
Facebook has regular surges of scam activity, usually associated with rogue apps. By signing up for a rogue app you allow access to your personal information. This allows the app to make Facebook postings under your identity. Most often these postings are in the form of a video clip. Clicking on the clip leads into an interminable series of links, surveys, etc, and spreads the scam virally through your Facebook wall. To stop the spread, notify your friends if you spot this kind of post appearing under their name. If you think you are a victim:
1. Click on Account>Privacy Settings.
2. Click on 'Edit Your Settings' below Apps and Websites at the bottom of the screen.
3. Review your apps and click on 'Remove App' if you think it's the source of the scam.
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