A while back I wrote Will You Be My Facebook Friend…Again? Talking about people receiving friend requests from those they thought they were already friends with. In fact they are already friends…with the real version. Now the invite is coming from the Spoofed version of a friend.
You log in to your Facebook account and are greeted by questions and concerns from friends that have received a request to be your friend again. Your first thought is that you have been hacked. Instead in almost all cases you were actually Spoofed.
What Is Spoofing and Why Is It Done
Usually if you think of the words Spoof or Satire you may think of Saturday Night Live cast members as exaggerated and funny versions of Politicians. When done on the Internet spoofing holds and entirely different meaning.
Spoofing on the Internet is all about the attempt to gain information. Emails that look exactly like they are from your bank asking you to follow a link and log in to your account. Phone calls with phone numbers from one country when they are actually from the other side of the world. Finally Facebook friend requests that look exactly like an existing friend’s profile. All of these spoofing methods and more are all meant to garner your trust and gain access to information that isn’t freely available.
What Good Does Pretending To Be Me On Facebook Do
Have you put any thought to the security and privacy settings for your Facebook account? Many of these settings determine who has access to what information. For example:
- Friend of a Friend
These three settings are enough reason for someone to want to be you or a friend of you. Access to information like birthday’s, phone numbers, home addresses, vacation times and more. All of this information is worth money to the wrong people.
Another example of why someone may want to pretend to be you is with Malvertising. Who are you more likely to click a link from a trusted friend or a complete stranger? A trusted friend I would hope.
Malvertising is used to distribute malware and ransomware. It is also used in Phishing schemes. Pretending to be someone’s friend can quickly become a lucrative prospect for those that are less than honest.
What Should I Do If I Do Think I’ve Been Hacked or Spoofed
The first thing you should do whenever you have the faintest fear that you may been hacked is to change your password. Always use strong passwords that are completely different than the one you are replacing. I recommend that your password be over 7 characters long and contain Numbers and Letters with one of the letters being a capital letter at least.
After changing your password make some other account changes like new profile picture(s) that help differentiate you from the imposter. Inform others that an imposter is sending out friend requests and not to accept them. Changing your Facebook address to something unique like some combination of your name will also help make you stand out as you.
So the big catch word the past few months is Ransomware. It has ran rampant through the internet attacking businesses and home users alike. Clicking on an e-mail attachment is all it takes. At least that is how it used to be. Now Ransomware has found new ways to infect your computer.
Cerber ransomware is a perfect example of a threat that is distributed through a number of different ways. Trendlabs released a blog post in August describing how Cerber is distributed through “Malvertising”. Malvertising is the practice of ads that lead you to malware terror.
What’s Worse Than Ransomware
If you wanted to know if Ransomware was the worst kind of threat we face today the answer is a resounding YES! If it wasn’t already bad enough it’s gotten a lot worse. We found out in July that Ransomware was being offered as a service. That means any newbie or wannabe that wants to get into the Ransomware business can simply subscribe and get a DIY kit so they can get in on the multi million dollar ransomware business to without having to create their own.
What Does All This Ransomware Scare Information Really Mean To You
Today’s ransomware is scary stuff. Clicking the wrong ad or e-mail attachment starts the process. The process of encrypting every file and picture on your computer and any attached network or storage device. According to the message the only way to get them back is to pay a ransom. For many this is all but to true. I have an external hard drive from a member that had been infected prior to joining PC Helper 123 that is still unrecoverable over a year later. The external hard drive was attached to the computer when it was infected and is full of irreplaceable family photos and memories.
For those that are informed there are ways that make sure that Ransomware never holds them for ransom.
- A Solid Multi Platform Backup Practice (local and online)
- Good Antivirus|Malware Protection Installed
- Crypto Prevent by FoolishIT Installed
The #1 way of protecting your files from a ransomware attack is to have good backups. As long as you have backups the most that you will ever have to do is clean your PC and restore your backed up files. Local storage devices like USB and external hard drive may become infected. Using an online backup method makes sure no matter what you will have clean files to restore.
Antivirus and antimalware companies are constantly sifting through new and altered malware. Protection is not 100% but it is critical to have the best protection installed. Using special software in addition to your protection like Crypto Prevent may be the difference of whether your computer is safe or becomes infected.
Proactive Means Safety | Reactive Means Loss
Proactive action means that you and your computer stay safe. Even if a threat does make it through you experience no loss. Those who decide to spin the metaphorical wheel of chance run the risk of either losing it all or paying up. Backup, protection, and safe practices are the closest that you can be to 100% safe on today’s Internet.
If you would like to implement your own plan a PC Helper will be glad to help you scope out what to do. If you would rather have it taken care of for you become a PC Helper 123 member and get everything you need.
Ransomware is a threat on the Internet that is one of the most devastating threats you can get. Once infected there is little to no option to recover. Ransomware developers give you the opportunity to pay to have your files freed. Payments are often hundreds of dollars even then there is no guarantee that payment will return your files.
Using extra protection and following some common practices will help keep you safe from Ransomware. Using Online and local backup practices will prevent loss in case these threats do make it on to your computer. Continue reading “Free Ransomware Protection 2016”