We have learned to satisfy this curiosity simply by a mouse click here, and a mouse click there. In a sense, we have developed a conditioned response to “just click”. You are reading this article, in all likelihood, because the title roused your curiosity.
Using the Internet we can snoop, probe, and pry; and question, or confirm, virtually any statement, fact or opinion. We now have access to a quantity, and quality (some might dispute the quality), of information as never before. Sensational news alerts are a particularly delicious enticement.
Naturally of course, sensational news alerts, will continue to be one of the methods cyber-crooks will use to capture Internet users’ attention, particularly in emails, Google search results, and on social networking sites like Twitter and FaceBook.
Michael Jackson email scams
Since Michael Jackson’s death, email inboxes have been flooded with enticing scam emails, along with the usual emails offering pharmaceuticals, expensive watches, and other knockoff products with which we are all familiar.
Email scams work because the cyber-crooks responsible use social engineering as the hook; in other words they exploit our curiosity – the reason you clicked on this article. The fact is, we are all pretty curious creatures and let’s face it, who doesn’t like sensational topics.
Knowing this, email scammers (cyber-crooks), will continue to exploit our natural curiosity, to create an opportunity designed to drop malicious code, including rootkits, password stealers, Trojan horses, and spam bots on our computers.
With the worldwide Internet population now estimated to be 1.08 billion users, email scammers (cyber-crooks), have a huge playing field in which to practice their crafty scams.
Cyber-crooks, I’m convinced, must feel as if they are in cyber-crooks paradise given the opportunities such a large number of generally unaware potential victims present for illicit monetary gain.
Security experts (including me), argue that a significant number of malware infections could be avoided if users stopped “just clicking haphazardly” or opening the types of files that are clearly dangerous. To this point however, this type of dangerous behavior continues despite the warnings.
It continues to be true that the majority of typical users, that I meet, are unaware of the very real dangers that spam emails and social networking links, hold for their safety, security and identity protection.
On the other hand, I’ve noted that aware Internet users rely on their own experiences and common sense to avoid malware infections. Generally, they are well aware of the hidden dangers on the Internet and have overcome that natural tendency to “just click”.
While on the Internet keep the following tips in mind:
Don’t click links in emails or social networking sites. If they come from a known source, type them on the browser’s address bar. If they come from an untrusted source, simply ignore them.
Don’t open emails that come from untrusted sources.
Don’t run files that you receive via email without making sure of their origin.
Keep your computer protected. Install a security solution and keep it up-to-date.
Despite the title of this article Michael Jackson is dead. Yes, I know you knew this.
Elsewhere on this site there are additional articles dealing with current email and financial scams.