Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and we all know what that means: red roses, heart-shaped boxes… and viruses. Unfortunately, special events and holidays like this are often used by cyber-criminals to launch massive-scale attacks through malicious email attachments, fake videos posted on social networks, etc.
Romantic videos, links to online stores offering the best possible present for your loved one, photos… Hackers will use any kind of bait to infect as many users as possible through social engineering techniques. These attacks are usually aimed to:
– Turn users’ PCs into zombie computers later used to increase traffic to a specific website, crash a website, etc.
– Drop a malware strain to the computer in order to steal the user’s confidential information.
“I Love you”, “Valentíne E” or “Waledac C” are among the worms most often used at this time of the year.
6 tips to avoid Valentine’s Day cyber scams
As usual, our recommendation is to use the Web safely. Here are some tips to prevent your Valentine’s Day from becoming a nightmare.
1. Do not run attached files that come from unknown sources. Stay on alert for files that claim to be Valentine Day’s greeting cards, romantic videos, etc.
2. Do not click any links included in email messages, or received through Facebook or Twitter, even though they may come from reliable sources. If you do click on any such links, take a close look at the page you arrive at and if you don’t recognize it, close your browser.
3. Even if the page seems legitimate, but asks you to download something, be suspicious and don’t accept the download
4. If you make any purchases online, type the address of the store in the browser, rather than going through any links that have been sent to you. Only buy online from sites that have a solid reputation and offer secure transactions.
5. Do not use shared or public computers, or an unsecured WiFi connection, for making transactions or operations that require you to enter passwords or other personal details.
6. Have an effective security solution installed, capable of detecting both known and new malware strains. Keep it up to date.
Have you received any suspicious emails lately?