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Cyber Criminals Unleash New Scams at Every Opportunity
Any time there are well-publicized events like the Olympics, incidents involving entertainment or political personalities, annual occurrences like tax season or Christmas, or any occasions that garner media attention, scammers and hackers see an “opportunity”.
For example, when tragic incidents occur, fake charity sites pop up. When “juicy” stories make the news, websites promising the latest pictures, or information, quickly surface. For sporting meets and other recurring events or holidays, email scams regularly abound.
The aim is to get you to click on a link or access a scammer’s website, rather than one of the sites you normally visit. The result could be an automatic attempt to secretly load malicious code to your computer. Or the email or website could contain deceptive, convincing tactics to get you to:
- Download seemingly legitimate software which in reality has hidden damaging code that will play havoc with your computer or capture your personal information; or,
- Enter your credit card or other personal information that can be used to commit financial fraud against you.
There are some easy steps that you can take to help protect yourself from popular scams and secure your home computer, including:
- Be aware that email scams and malicious websites continuously surface for publicized or recurring events, or when any news story breaks.
- To get the information or news you need, use caution when accessing new sites.
- Be aware that attackers try to manipulate search engine results in order to get their malicious pages to the top of your search lists.
- Be wary of unsolicited email and be cautious in your online activity.
- Finally, and most importantly, always keep your computer protections up-to-date, including your personal firewall, anti-virus, anti-spam and anti-spyware. Take advantage of automated software update processes for your web browser, operating system and for all software that supports your online behaviour (e.g. browser plug-in's) or regularly check the applicable websites for required software "patches" and updates.
Let RBC help you learn how to make your day safer.