While the tricks and jokes exchanged online are often innocent and fun, there are individuals lurking online who want to trick you into handing over your personal information.
Cybercriminals often rely on social engineering to trick people into installing malware with scams for free products, offers for pirated entertainment, or “never before seen” footage or photos that spark a fan’s curiosity. Clicking on one of these links makes it easy for criminals to steal your identity and passwords.
According to a recent report, the fan craze created by the film The Hunger Games has created the perfect opportunity for devious cybercriminals to take advantage of Internet users. While clicking on a link may seem innocent enough, it can actually infect your computer, phone, or tablet without you even knowing what happened.
Protect yourself and help stop the spread of malware by following these simple tips:
- Be extremely cautious when accessing or downloading content; if something is too good to be true, then it probably is.
- Do not trust a site if it doesn’t appear legitimate or you don’t know where the online content is coming from.
- Protect your computer by installing and keeping your anti-virus software up-to-date.
If your computer has been infected, follow these important steps:
- If you are at work and have access to an IT department, contact them immediately.
- If you are on your home computer or a laptop, disconnect from the Internet.
- If the anti-virus software can’t locate or remove the infection, you may need to reinstall your operating system.
Visit www.us-cert.gov for more information, tips and resources on malware, spyware, and phishing.
To learn basic Internet safety tips on how to protect yourself and your family, visit www.dhs.gov/stopthinkconnect.