Among the many threats people face every day, malware is among the most common. Most people know the many types of malware that can get into a device, how bad it is but do not know how they infest your devices. Knowing the types of threats that exist is the first step to protecting your devices. Next, it is vital to learn how these threats sneak into your smartphones, computers, and tablets. To combat these malicious threats, below are some common tactics and methods used to trick people into downloading malware and compromising their security and data.
Cybercriminals trick victims into downloading malicious apps by spoofing websites of various organizations or brands. To do this, they create fraudulent web pages to impersonate the original page, with the name of the domain resembling the domain of the brand or the organization they are spoofing as closely as possible. But, the subtle differences, such as adding a symbol or letter or a whole word. It is easy for the websites to be malware-laced. And this tricks the target into clicking the link and downloading the malware into their devices. To prevent this, always search for the official domain name, and you can do this by typing manually in the address bar or typing it on the search engine. The same applies as you stream the Pirate Bay for movies to protect you from accessing malicious sites.
Fake mobile applications present as the real thing and dupe the users to download them to devices, thus compromising them. The apps can take the guise of anything, posing as cryptocurrency apps, fitness tracking tools, or any other apps that seem to be trending that year. But, in reality, other than receiving the advertised services, mobile phones get infected with malware such as spyware, ransomware, or key loggers. For this reason, it is vital to stick with applications trusted developers offer for their users. In this way, you avoid downloading malicious apps, for they have a verifiable track record and reviews. Also, keep your devices up to date and patched to stay protected from threats present in older operating systems and older versions of apps.
Phishing emails’ objective is to coax sensitive information from the victim, such as your card verification code, access credentials to various services, pin code, or other personal information. The attackers present the mail as from a trusted institution, and they may contain links or attachments. Once you open them, your device gets infected with malware. Therefore, as you read thoroughly through your emails and notice dead giveaways, this is a sign you are dealing with a scam. One telltale sign includes spelling mistakes, requesting personal information, evoking a sense of urgency, or the email originating from a suspicious domain.
USB flash drives
USB flash drives and other external storage devices are popular forms of transferring and storing files. But they carry a lot of risks. For instance, threat actors use the social engineering strategy of the lost flash drive to dupe unwitting victims to plug a compromised thumb drive into their computer. Once you plug in an afflicted drive and open your device, you get infested with ransomware or key logger. Also, if you do not handle your flash drive carefully, your computer will get infestation by cross-contamination. Therefore, to mitigate chances of contamination to your PC, use a reputable and up-to-date security solution to scan any external devices plugged in your device and warn you if it contains anything suspicious.
Some websites have pop-up ads when you click on any section of the webpage, or they appear when you access the website. These ads aim to generate revenue for the site, but sometimes they are laced with various types of malware. Thus, when you click on the adware or ads, you may download it to your device unwillingly. In some cases, the ads use scare tactics to tell you your device is compromised, and clicking on the ad cleans up the compromise, yet, it is never the case. To avoid most adware, use a trusted ad-blocking extension on your browser to block ads from appearing on websites you visit. Also, avoid visiting suspicious websites that use such advertisements.
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