You’ve heard it a million times: Don’t click on links in an email unless you know who sent it and what it is.
But sometimes the link in an email is just so darned convenient. For example, you ship a package to a friend, and then you get an email with a link to track the delivery. It’s safe to click that link, right?
If you’ve ever had a virus on your computer, you know what a nightmare it can be — a slow computer that crashes unexpectedly, your contact lists getting messages that you didn’t send, your online accounts vulnerable to hacking.
Perhaps just as frustrating as a virus infecting your computer? Paying someone to get rid of a virus that isn’t there.
OK, it’s not really Check Your Phone Bill Day. But how about checking your wireless phone bill anyway? Pull it up online, dig out your paper copy, or if you don’t get a detailed bill from your phone company, go ahead and ask for one (we’ll wait).
Does your dad think spyware is James Bond’s tux? When you tell him to be careful about phishing, does he ask you about mercury levels in the lake? When you remind him to clear the cookies on his PC, does he remind you he doesn’t eat in the office?
If you answered yes to any of these, it may be time to give Dad a lesson in cyberspeak.
If you've ever gotten a text message on your cell phone telling you that you've won a free prize, you're not alone. During the past year, the FTC has gotten tens of thousands of complaints about unsolicited text messages.
Earlier this week, we wrote about a recent twist in so-called scareware schemes, where scammers send alarming messages to try to convince you that your computer is infected with viruses or other malware. Then, they try to sell you software to fix the problem. At best, the software is worthless or available elsewhere for free. At worst, it could be malware — software designed to give criminals access to your computer and your personal information.
The Federal Trade Commission cracked down on a massive international scam that tricked tens of thousands of computer users into believing their computers were riddled with malware and then paying the scammers hundreds of dollars to “fix” the problem.
Thanks to some malware that’s been around since last year, but that the FBI believes is still affecting more than 60,000 computers in the U.S., some people could find out on Monday that they no longer have internet access. If that happens, you’ll need to get help from your service provider to get back online.
Undersecretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology and Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology
Over the past several years, a new threat has emerged on the Internet, increasingly putting consumers at risk. Some industry experts suggest that as many as 1 in 10 computers in the U.S. are part of what is called a botnet.