Many of us are already
shopping online, or will be soon, for the holidays. McAfee is pushing
its software with its release of the "dozen most dangerous online scams"
this season, but there's also some good info here.
Consider it a gift of knowledge for you as you surf the Web for presents
for your loved ones:
1. Mobile malware:
More of us are using our phones for shopping, to research products or to
redeem coupons. McAfee says Android phones are "most at risk," citing
"a 76 percent increase in malware targeted at Android
devices in the second quarter of 2011 over the first, making it the most
targeted smartphone platform."
McAfee also says new
malware "has recently been found that targets QR codes, a digital
barcode that consumers might scan with their smartphone to find good
deals on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, or just to learn about
products they want to buy."
2. Malicious mobile
apps: "These are mobile apps designed to steal information from
smartphones, or send out expensive text messages without a user's
consent. Dangerous apps are usually offered for free, and masquerade
as fun applications, such as games. For example, last year, 4.6 million
Android smartphone users downloaded a suspicious wallpaper app that
collected and transmitted user data to a site in China."
3. Phony Facebook
promotions and contests: "Who doesn't want to win some free prizes or
get a great deal around the holidays? Unfortunately, cyber scammers know
that these are attractive lures and they have sprinkled
Facebook with phony promotions and contests aimed at gathering personal
information." One recent scam promised two free airline tickets -
something that sounds appealing at this time of year especially - "but
required participants to fill out multiple surveys
requesting personal information."
4. Scareware, or fake antivirus software: We've seen lots of examples
this year. "Scareware is the fake antivirus software that tricks someone
into believing that their computer is at risk - or already infected -
so they agree to download and pay for phony
software." McAfee says it's one of "the most common and dangerous
Internet threats today, with an estimated 1 million victims falling for
this scam each day."
(MSNBC) To read more: click here