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How to avoid being scammed by malicious ads



Tele-scams take a new toll

Microsoft will never call you to let you know that your computer is infected. Most of you know that you need to make such a call. Just like the IRS will never call to tell you that you have to repay taxes that can only be paid with iTunes Gift Cards (no joke – that was a real cheat call). But the criminals are still eager to find new ways to separate you from your money. The latest craze is malvertising or malicious advertising.

Everyone has seen advertisements on news sites and hidden Facebook on the side of the screen, sometimes alarmingly focused on some of the things you've recently visited on the Internet. Well, if you do not know, these ads are not actually served by the website you visit, but they are moved to the advertised area by ad services that the owner of the site subscribes to. These are massive services with millions of advertisers who want to sell their goods to the public of these often famous places.

However, very carefully designed advertisements are sent to these advertising services and they can take over your computer, whether you have a PC or a MAC. We have seen some very clever engineering with some of these. They will often claim to be from Microsoft or Apple. You can fill the entire screen and give you no title bar where you can close the window. Some of them will play a very loud and annoying alarm sound to really scare you. The crooks are not just kidding you, but also the advertising services they publish. This is because the ad looks completely normal to the systems that accept it. However, the image contains special code that causes your Internet browser to open a new tab and navigate to a landing page that displays the malicious ad.

Do not be fooled!

That's her point. They use a very old confidence swindle and social engineering to make them react without thinking. Since the number is toll free, people think it's legitimate and call. Of course, the criminal on the other end will confirm that you are terribly infected and need immediate access to your computer to prevent your files from being destroyed. They then show you a series of fake screenshots of things they found on your computer and ask for payment. We've seen that these agencies pay for the removal of these fake infections between $ 60 and $ 400. Some of them charge you a service every month that they just can not afford. As long as you think they are legitimate and do nothing, they will lose their money.

How to save yourself

This is how the a typical technical support answer always works. Restart. Since this is not really an infection, the reboot will close any open objects on your computer and get you back to work. However, this may be destructive to unsaved work that may be open in the background in another application. In this case, use Task Manager (CTRL + SHIFT + ESC for Windows, CMD + OPT + ESC for Mac) to select and exit your Internet browser (Chrome, FireFox, Internet Explorer, Safari, etc.).

Prevention [19659010] Keep your computer up-to-date. These attacks take advantage of the fact that you are annoyed by the prompts to update your computer (OS, Java, Flash, Reader, etc.) and are more familiar with the benefits Exploit security holes on your system. Our Guardian Managed Service subscribers automatically update their systems on a weekly basis and are rarely disturbed by updates on their computers.
  • Have a decent antivirus solution and know what it looks like when you warn against malicious activity on your computer. Regardless of the service plan, all our customers have the opportunity to have free, professional antivirus software for their computers – and we take all the warnings for you!
  • Network-wide security or threat management on the Internet router. Customers who need more thorough network security and block malicious software before they reach the desktop have the option for software and devices that offer more control over Internet content and blocking malicious attacks.
  • Install Adblock Plus. This free product (donations accepted) is loaded directly into your browser and not only prevents this type of malicious attacks, but also many annoying ads. Please note that some websites are aware of software such as this and refuse to display content until you disable it.
  • Spread the word. As computers become more secure, social engineering scams are on the rise. People have always been the weakest link in computer security. Share information like this with your friends. As you work, be aware that there is a well-defined computer policy that includes incident reports to your boss when something unusual happens to your computer. Staff should be regularly trained and screened for computer and internet security. There are dozens of excellent resources available. We can also help you with the training of your employees!
  • If you have questions about your computers, networks, servers, or security, we'll be happy to help. Do not hesitate to email us or call us!


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