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Tips for Avoiding Scams

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August 20, 2011 by wcobserver

Tip 1 – Don’t fall for the clickjacking scam on Facebook claiming Lady Gaga was found dead. Clickjacking is a malicious technique of tricking Web users into revealing confidential information or taking control of their computer while clicking on seemingly innocuous web pages. A vulnerability across a variety of browsers and platforms, a clickjacking takes the form of embedded code or script that can execute without the user’s knowledge, such as clicking on a button that appears to perform another function.

Graham Cluley, a senior technology consultant at Sophos Co., sent out an alert on August 5, 2011 about this scam. The scam leads to a link to a sham BBC TV News report. If you clicked on this message, remove the item from your Facebook page immediately. Be sure to tell all of your friends and family about this scam.

Tip 2 - Are you using Windows XP? Research from AVAST Virus Lab analyzed more than 630,000 rootkit infections. The six month study showed that the number of rootkit infections depended on the Windows operating system in use: 75% for XP, 17% for Vista, and 12% for Windows 7. Be sure your anti-malware utility is rated excellent for detection and removal of rootkits.

Tip 3 - Cell phones are being attacked by cybercriminals: They are after sensitive data on the phone, such as browser history, bookmarks, homepage settings, and financial contacts. Android cell phones and tablets are singled out by these bad guys. A trojan malware program records phone conversations. A popular gaming app is used to obtain personal information, i.e., DroidDream Trojan and DroidKungFuTrojan. Malicious code has been embedded in the following Android apps: Angry Birds Rio Unlocker v1.00, and Angry Birds Cheater Trainer Helper V2.0. How can you avoid these attacks? According to Alex Fairbanks at www.webroot.com, “Our threat research team says that Android users can protect themselves by using a little common sense when they download apps: Does the app sound like what it promises to do is too good to be true? Does it ask for all kinds of permissions that it shouldn’t need to fulfill its mission? If it does you might as well pass on downloading.” For more information on threats go to blog.webroot.com. PcMagazine on line has a guide for protecting yourself from phone hacking: Use strong passwords, change it regularly, require a voicemail PIN, and stay current. Go to www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2388268,00.asp for details.

Tip 4 - Latest test results for anti-malware software released: Pcmag.com keeps tabs on anti-malware utilities that are tested by four antivirus testing services: AV-Comparatives.org, AV-Test.org, ICSA Labs, Virus Bulletin, and West Coast Labs. Here are anti-virus utilities tested by all four labs that are rated EXCELLENT: avast!, AVG, BitDefender, Kaspersky, and Norton/Symantec. There others that are rated EXCELLENT but are not tested by all four of the labs. For a complete listing on the chart, go to www.pcmag.com/image_popup/0,1871,iid=306253,00.asp. A detail malware removal chart can be found at www.pcmag.com/image_popup/0,1871,iid=306256,00.asp

Email or call in your questions or comments to the Observer to NEWS@WCOBSERVER.COM

Column is written by Wes Eckles, Jr., President of the NWA Personal Computer User Group that meets monthly at the Jones Center at 1 p.m. every third Saturday. Go to pcgroup.nwark.com (no www. in front). for information about the group.

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