Be Careful Online !

Be Careful Online !Some people are reluctant to play internet bingo because of all of the computer viruses, Trojans and other malware on the internet. Users need to be careful and clicking on the wrong dialog box or link can result in the destruction of a computer. Some viruses are spread by emails containing a link. When the link is opened the computer immediately gets infected. Some malware programs are sneaky and run in the background unknown to the computer’s owner. Some of these stealth programs are designed to steal banking and credit card account information and when a user accesses online accounts the program does its dirty work. These programs can be hard for the average user to get rid of and in most cases malware programs disable antivirus and spyware programs and will prevent the user from downloading legitimate programs.

File sharing sites are notorious for spreading malware. One recent scam pretends to be from the FBI and locks computers until a ‘fine’ is paid. The newest versions of this program prevent users from accessing the safe mode startup feature. In Aberdeen, Washington an internet bingo player suffering from liver cancer got a firsthand lesson on the damage malware can do. The player, known as Tim, saw a television ad for an internet bingo site while watching Fox news. When he visited the site Tim lost all control of his computer. His close friend Sharon said “My friend loves online games. I’m always telling him to be careful. But when you see it advertised on TV, you figure it’s safe.”

When he went to the internet bingo site Tim was redirected to malware-alarm dot com, one of several sites pushing the rogue anti spyware program malware alarm and its variants. The site presents visitors with a dialog box asking for permission to perform a scan for viruses and other infections. In reality the antivirus program is a virus and no matter what action the user takes the program will download itself regardless of the user’s wishes. One defense against such programs is to restart the computer and disconnect from the internet immediately.

Malicious ads are a growing concern for companies that depend on internet advertising. In many cases site owners did not know they had been compromised until it was too late and visitors had been infected. Word spreads quickly on the internet and a compromised website can easily ruin any online business. Sunbelt Software spyware researcher Patrick Jordan said that malware alarm has a long history in the rogue antispyware business. Even if Tim’s computer is fixed the damage has been done. Sharon said that she will no longer do business on the internet because she no longer trusts websites.