Spyware is one of the leading causes of identity theft across the United States and they are getting more sneaky and more sophisticated each day.
It is important for the consumer to know how to identify spyware, stop it from spreading and eradicate it; otherwise, you stand the risk of possibly having cyber criminals access your bank accounts and have your money stolen. In addition, your credit cards can be illegally used, as well as many other factors of fraudulent activity that can be acted against you.
Sounds scary? It is, but there are easy preventative methods that can be utilized to stop spyware from entering your PC or Mac.
What you must do:
- Download a reputable anti-virus program. Trend Micro and Malwarebytes are two suggestions.
- Load the program and check for updates. Run the updates if there are any.
- Once the antivirus application is installed, run the scan. If it finds any viruses, it will remove or quarantine them.
- Reboot your computer.
This preventive procedure will give you peace of mind, but if you don’t protect your machine, there will be potential financial dangers abound.
The scenario below illustrates what can happen if you don’t protect your computer from cyber criminals
If you see this on your computer, what is the first thing that you do?
“Oh my, I have a virus” and proceed to press the OK button or call the phone number at the bottom. Fact is, if you click anywhere on this screen – they got you! This means that once you click this screen, you have potentially invited more spyware to infiltrate your computer.
Correct if you are thinking that this message actually IS the virus. This is called a Trojan Virus. Taken from the story of the Trojan horse during the Trojan war with the Greeks. The Greek soldiers could not penetrate the fortified town of Troy, so they devised a method for a psychological win instead of a physical one.
They built a wooden horse, large enough to hold a good 20 – 30 troops, then they left Troy with only this wooden horse on the beach. The Trojans considered it a trophy and brought it into the town. Once inside, the Greeks came out and slaughtered the people of Troy.
This story is not much different from the Trojan virus on the screen above. It has fooled you to think you have a virus and that they need to clean it up for you, when in fact, the only virus is them! If you click the OK button or call the number, you will be told you have to pay $199 for the cleanup. This claim is completely bogus.
Bottom line: These cyber criminals will not clean up your computer. Instead, they may apply spyware that will become resident on your machine and watch every keystroke you take, then grab your personal and financial information information when it is entered. Not to mention the $199 they will steal from you.
If you get this message or one similar to it, you need to remove it ASAP. Malwaretips gives you step by step instructions on how to get rid of this financial fraud.