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Top three internet scams to avoid in 2011

Jenny Williams

Sophisticated scams developed by cyber-criminals to target smartphones and social networks means businesses must increase awareness of internet scams, according to security firm, Knowthenet.org.uk.

Find out how to deal with these top three scams in 2011:

  1. Smartphone app scam
  2. Facebook wall virus
  3. The phone support switch

 

Peter Wood, security expert at Knowthenet.org.uk, said: "Despite extra privacy settings, or more sophisticated anti-virus software, at the end of the day we still need to be that extra little bit careful in how we interact online."

The online advice site lists its advice for three internet scams likely to be prevalent this year:

Smartphone app scam

Malicious spyware is disguised in a game or an application, which is then promoted to smartphone users. If downloaded, the malware harvests information from the smartphone, stealing data such as passwords and financial details.

Advice: Always check the application, the developer and reviewer comments before you download any app on your phone.

Facebook wall virus

A friend will "post" a link on your Facebook page wall or in Facebook status updates, giving the impression that it is a safe site to visit. In most cases this will be legitimate link-sharing, but in some cases it's the result of malware and may result in the download of viruses on your machine.

Advice: Be aware that links on your Facebook wall are not always what they seem.

The phone support switch

Fraudsters try to gain access to your computer by calling up and saying you have a problem with your computer, inviting you to download anti-virus software. Rather than fixing the problem and protecting the computer, the software releases spyware or malware that could provide access to your machine's resources to support other digital attacks.

Advice: If you receive a call asking you to download software, ignore it and hang up. If in doubt, always take your computer into a reputable IT services company to get it looked at.


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