How to Stay Safe from Scams and Malware on Facebook

by Lou Horton on November 30, 2018

How to Stay Safe from Scams and Malware on Facebook

At last count, Facebook has grown to over 2.2 billion users, which makes the platform more attractive than ever for scammers and hackers. While you may be logging in to share your latest family photos or catch up with friends, the chances of accidentally triggering a scam or malware are increasing daily. Here’s how to stay safe on Facebook and stop the spread.

Look out for freebies and surveys

Everybody loves a freebie and for the most part the competition posts on Facebook are legitimate. On the flip side though, when you see a giveaway for vouchers from a mega-store, alarm bells should ring. ‘Do this quick survey and we’ll send you a $50 Amazon Voucher!’ – it’s too good to be true. Even one click can take you on a messy journey through the underbelly of the web, picking up trackers and malware at every stop and at the end, you’re asked to share the post so your friends can get a voucher too…except nobody ever gets the reward.

Check your permissions with games and quizzes

Whenever you access a new game or quiz, you’ll need to give permissions for it to access your Facebook profile. Most people click the okay button without any thought, but if you review the permissions you’re giving, you’ll often find they’re asking for a massive amount of personal data; public profile, friend list, email address, birthday and newsfeed. Do they really need ALL this information? Sometimes the shakedown is from necessity, but sometimes the apps are preparing to launch attacks against you both on and off Facebook. For example, when you call your bank they ask certain questions like your full name, birthday and maybe which high school you went to. All that information is in your Facebook profile and now shared with your permission.

Don’t friend people you don’t know

Having lots of friends is always nice, but that friend accept could end up costing you. It might be someone pretending to know you, or a picture of a pretty girl to entice men (and vice versa). Once you friend them, they get access to everything your friends can see. In this case, it’s more than the risk of someone knowing your personal data, you’ve just given them intimate access to your life. It’s exactly how romance scams start, and there are even cases where the victim finds photos of their children circulating the internet.

If it’s weird, forget it

It doesn’t happen very often, but hackers find ways to take advantage of flaws in Facebook. A common hack that keeps popping up in various forms is to embed malware in a link. The virus then infects your machine and contacts all your friends with an enticing message, like asking whether a picture is of them. When they click to view the picture, the virus catches them and their friend list, and so on. Facebook is pretty good at staying on top of these flaws, but they need time to fix it. Just like if you got a weird email with an attachment from a friend, use that same level of scrutiny in your Facebook and don’t open messages or links that seem out of place.

Please feel free to contact us for all your computer repair needs (hardware and software) at Computer-Repair-Now.Com or call us at 630-444-7220.

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Happy Thanksgiving

by Lou Horton on November 21, 2018

The opportunity to serve customers like you gives us joy and thankfulness every day of the year. We would like to wish you a peaceful Thanksgiving holiday and the time to truly enjoy it with your friends and family.  Computer-Repair-Now.Com 

 

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How to deal with spooky email messages

by Lou Horton on October 25, 2018

It is almost Halloween and most of us have grown accustomed to gruesome home decorations or being scared at your local haunted house.  How would you feel though if you received an email message containing your password threatening to contact all of your business and personal contacts through social media with your "dirty secrets"?  Spam and scam messages are very common but how many of them actually can name your password?  Even if you have nothing to hide this can be a very unsettling message to receive.

There are many variations of these evil messages but they are all the same in so far as they contain one of your passwords and they are all trying to extort crypto currency (Bitcoin).  These messages have become more and more common over the last 6 months.  Below you will find an example of one of these messages:

Please do not be spooked by these messages.  While it is possible (especially when a computer is infected with malware) to record your browsing habits, the scenarios stated in these messages are completely fake.  If it's fake, how did they get my password?  Over the last several years there have been many very large data breaches at companies and websites where millions of people have recorded a password.  Often one of the pieces of data that is stolen is the password.  These extortion emails are using a password from one of the data breaches in the attempt to scare you and get some relatively untraceable money from you.

What should you do?  If you are using the password listed in the email (or any close variant of it), we recommend you change on all sites to be safe.  If you think your computer might be infected with viruses or malware, it doesn't hurt to have a professional check it out just for peace of mind.  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at 630-444-7220.

Have a fun a safe Halloween.

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When is the last time you backed up your files?

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Few tips for avoiding computer problems

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