The Three Most Common Internet Viruses

A computer can obtain a virus, malware, or spyware without their owner even realizing it. Sometimes, the simple act of visiting a website is enough to contract a virus while in other cases internet users unwittingly download viruses by clicking false links that install the bad code. In order to protect your PC, internet users need to understand the most common threats.

That’s why, we have created an infographic that will show you three of the most common Internet viruses so you know how to detect them before it gets bad. (Read in our blog: Internet Viruses: A Preventable Threat)

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Internet Viruses: A Preventable Threat

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Computer viruses are nasty agents that can compromise personal information, cost a lot of money, and ruin machines.


Cough, cough. It isn’t flu season yet, but winter is just around the corner. Viruses such as the flu become more common during winter months because people spend more time indoors which makes the transfer of nasty bugs easier. Unfortunately, when it comes to computers, viruses are always in season and the internet is a hotbed of infection.
The scary truth is that a computer can obtain a virus, malware, or spyware without their owner even realizing it. Sometimes, the simple act of visiting a website is enough to contract a virus while in other cases internet users unwittingly download viruses by clicking false links that install the bad code. Computer viruses are nasty agents that can compromise personal information, cost a lot of money, and ruin machines. In order to protect your PC, internet users need to understand the most common threats, how to detect them, and, most importantly, how to avoid them.

How Can I Get a Virus From a Website?

The computer science behind a virus is actually quite simple. A virus is a piece of code or a program that can copy itself and runs without approval from the computer owner. There are dozens of different ways that you can get a virus from a website, some of the usual suspects are e-mail scams, torrent sharing, and video downloads.
When you visit a website, your web browser automatically reads, interprets, and displays the content for you. Unfortunately, there are deficiencies in all programs, including web browsers called “exploits.” These exploits are targeted by hackers as easy ways to spread their evil creations. That is how a computer can become infected without a person doing anything. Just by doing its job, a web browser can expose a computer to a virus.
Beyond automatic infection, viruses can be hidden within other files or disguised as other programs entirely. Torrent sites, which are popular for sharing pirated video and audio files, are a very high risk environment because they are not moderated. Anyone can upload files for download, including hackers.
Similar tactics are used to disguise viruses in other files. Pop-up ads, fake security breach warnings, and software updates are all common hiding places for malware. Watching pornography is another famous threat to computer integrity but is safe compared to the torrent sites. Many porn websites, like it or not, are businesses with an interest in maintaining a safe website, and therefore screen their files for viruses.

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Never download something that you do not trust, never download something that you have not read, and try to avoid threatening websites.

What Kinds of Viruses Are Common?

There are as many different types of viruses as there are routes to infection, but the three most common are called Trojans, botnets, and fake anti-virus software known as “scareware.”

Trojans – These are programs that take their name from the Trojan horse and are anything that is disguised to be something else. Download a Trojan and it will download its accompanying virus to your computer.

Botnets – A botnet is a network of infected PC’s that hackers use for a variety of evil tasks. Most recognizably, botnets are responsible for the majority of spam e-mails which are used by fraudsters to phish for personal information.

Scareware – A pop-up appears on your computer screen: WARNING! Your computer is infected. Download this program now to “protect” yourself. If you click on the pop-up your computer most certainly will become infected.

What Can I Do To Protect Myself?

The number one way that computer users can protect themselves is with common sense and awareness. Never download something that you do not trust, never download something that you have not read, and try to avoid threatening websites.
Besides policing your online behavior, antivirus software can remove existing viruses and help to detect online threats in the future. Another step that internet users can take is keeping software up to date. Most software updates are released to increase security and reduce vulnerability by closing exploits.

The bad news is that viruses are everywhere on the web. The good news is that they can, in large part, be prevented. Take care to protect yourself by updating software and browsing responsibly, it’s Vitamin-C for your computer.

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The Hidden Threats in Our Apps: Are Smartphones Safe from Viruses and Malware? Probably Not.

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Since smartphones first burst onto the scene and starting gathering steam, very few owners have thought seriously about the viruses and malware that might be lurking in their phone’s operating system. Pre-smartphone, a phone was just a phone, incapable of being overtaken by malware and not really a serious target, since little to no data was stored on the device. Today’s smartphones are, however, more like computers than they are like the first generation of flip phones we all once had.

As users continue to rely more and more on their mobile devices (and less and less on laptops and computers), these smartphones are becoming bigger targets for hackers. It’s a common misconception that antivirus for Android operating systems does more harm than good. It’s true, these programs used to be clunky, battery-sucking nightmares. Today’s mobile antivirus is streamlined. But is it even necessary?

In the most recent Internet Security Report, put together by Symantec, it is reported that there are more than a million apps that are classified as malware available on the market right now. In 2014 alone, forty-six new families of malware just for Android were introduced. Without some kind of antivirus for Android, most users will be completely open to nasty malware.

As hackers are becoming more aggressive, users are becoming more flippant. All smartphone operating systems now have an app where you can store credit card, password, and personal information for easy use for online and in-app purchases. Shopping on mobile devices is becoming more and more popular, which means more and more users are entering their payment information into their mobile phones. This is all information that an aggressive malware app can scrape out of the phone and send back to its designers.

What is malware and why should we fear it? According to that same Symantec report, malware is any program designed to do harm. It covers viruses, Trojans, and worms—all of which can be blocked with the use of an antivirus app. Aside from these commonly known types of malware, there are more and more threats being introduced by malicious programs every year. One of the newest families includes Grayware, which are programs that do not contain viruses but are classified as annoying or harmful by the users. Dialers, adware, and joke programs all fall into this category.

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Example of Madware in you device.

Another new category is Madware, which involves using aggressive programming to imbed advertising in the photos and calendars on your phone. These programs can also send push notifications to your phone and may even replace an existing ringtone with an advertisement. While not always damaging, both Grayware and Madware have the potential to be used by malicious programmers to scrape data from your phone and are, in and of themselves, annoying. If you’ve experienced either of these two new families of malware, you know that they can make your phone just as unusable as a piece of programming intentionally designed to harm your phone.

How do you identify these types of malware? Look for the following signs on your mobile device:

Send content – These programs will often utilize spam, premium SMS, and black hat SEO techniques to encourage you to send their content to your device.

Adware/Annoyance – Threats like these will use annoying popups and will send unwanted push notifications to your phone in an attempt to get you to click on their link, either for advertising or malicious purposes.

Reconfigure device – Many threats will automatically change your user settings in order to give themselves greater access to your data. Watch out for programs that ask for access to these types of settings.

More traditional threats – There are now downloaders, Trojans, Hack tools, and DDoS utilities made specifically to target you mobile device and the data it contains. These will often trigger a security alert.

Steal information – Any program that steals your data, from your media files to passwords to banking information is a malicious program that you do not want on your device

Track user – Many types of malware will track users’ locations.

Most mobile users walk a thin line. They want to keep their data safe, but they also want to have access to fun apps. Most people are more than willing to allow an app that they really want to have access to their personal information, especially if that app is free. That Symantec report found that most users think they know what they are agreeing to when they download an app, but that few really understand even the most basic app permission policies or how apps behave—more than 50% didn’t realize that apps can track their location in real time.

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Android Security Suite, advanced anti-malware app for Android devices

It’s important to pay attention to your device, listen to what it is telling you, and to take action when you notice a pattern. It is more important now than ever to have the right antivirus for Android, to protect your device in real time and prevent apps, mobile websites, and files from harming you or your device.

The Dark Side of Social Media

Our brains are hard-wired to believe. We take in information literally and then evaluate it against our knowledge to decide whether or not it is true. For a moment, no matter how brief, humans will believe anything that they are told. This belief is compounded if the source of the information is someone that we know, trust, or respect.

Consider the famous Nigerian Prince Scam, a simple, fraudulent e-mail that promises a future cash reward in exchange for a small advance payment. Of course, the scam is ridiculous but, according to historians a version of the scam has been used by con artists for over 200 years. Now, social media has opened up a whole new industry for cyber-criminals and while e-mail spam is decreasing in frequency, social media is ripe with scammers looking to make a quick buck.

Social Media Affiliate Programs

social media scams

Through affiliate programs, scammers can trick you into participating in a survey and/or signing up for a premium service. In this way, scammers collect your info and make money.

All scams have one thing in common, the goal is to make money and social media scams are no different. Most commonly, social media fraudsters monetize their efforts through participation in affiliate programs. These are incentive programs in which companies pay “affiliates” for driving traffic to their website. For instance, some unsuspecting person sees an ad for a free $1,000 gift card if they will only enter their e-mail address. When they enter their e-mail address and click submit, they have earned a referral fee for a criminal. They will never see the gift card because it never existed. It was only a ploy to get personal information.

Common Social Media Scams

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and all other social media platforms have changed the way people interact socially and professionally. We crave likes, comments, and re-tweets like a pregnant woman craves pickles and ice cream. We are able to follow our best friends and favorite celebrities and interact with them on a daily basis. All of these benefits are noticed by scammers who use them to their advantage when designing their schemes.

Facebook scam

Manual sharing plots are the most common and rely on social media users to spread. Usually, scammers will embed links to an affiliate site or malware inside of videos, pictures, or fake offers meant to entice people into unknowingly sharing the links with their friends. Fake offering scams are related and request social media users to join fake groups or events and share personal information in exchange for a free gift. Together, manual sharing and fake offering scams made up 93% of social media threats.

Phishing

Another type of cyber-fraud, phishing is the collection of personal information for the purposes of moneymaking. In regards to social media, phishing links are almost always hidden behind a hook (pun intended) such as a shocking news story or outlandish celebrity scandal. Once a user clicks on the link, they will be taken to a phishing site where they will be asked to login before they can proceed. Criminals will take the login information and hack other accounts for which the user has the same password (Apple ID, Bank Accounts, E-mail, Cloud Storage, etc.)

What is phishing

How to Protect Yourself

Knowledge and preparation are the two most important defenses against social media scams. While on social media, watch out for sensationalized stories, wild celebrity news, and offers for free money. Instead of clicking on links within social media, search for the stories on reputable news sites to see if they are legitimate. Also, never fill out a form unless you are certain the transaction is secure. Cyber-criminals are very creative and can use just about any personal information against you to make money for themselves.

Android Antivirus

Android Security Suite

In terms of preparation, one of the best investments a social media user can make is an antivirus app that can recognize threats. Apps like Android Security Suite that offers 24/7 real-time protection provides the most comprehensive protection and download directly to your device. Good antimalware will scan and detect malicious websites, phishing sites, and viruses to protect your device and your personal information from falling into the wrong hands.

How to remove malware and viruses from Android devices (Video)

Remove malware and virus from Android

There’s a misconception that Android devices cannot get malware but the reality is that there are more than 1 million apps infected with malicious code.

According to the 2015 Internet Security Threat Report conducted by Symantec, cybercriminals are developing new variants of malware that can surpass security policies and restrictions, hence getting to our devices through innocent looking games and apps.

Many of us are unaware of the consequences of having malware in our devices and the personal data hackers chase, which in most cases are bank account details and user ID’s. Furthermore, fake versions of banking and other well-known apps can deceive us in an attempt to collect our bank account details.

This is why, if your device starts acting strangely, slowing down or bombards you with advertising; you should get an antivirus app for Android capable enough to scan files and apps and find the source of the problem.

In the following video, we will tell you what hackers are capable of and how to remove malware from Android devices so you can take action and fight cybercriminals.

To get the most advanced anti-malware and Antivirus protection for Android go to Android Security Suite

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Mobile Cloud Labs CEO on Android Security Suite Release

Mobile cloud labs will release one of the most advanced anti-malware apps for the Android mobile platform, Android Security Suite.
Mobile Cloud Labs CEO, Richard Sylvester, answered some questions with details about this upcoming release in the following interview.

Anti-malware for Android

Android Security Suite is a completely secure and comprehensive solution where Android users can protect their devices from malicious viruses, malware and apps that could potentially steal their information or damage their system.

If you’re an Android owner, you deserve top-of-the-line protection for your investment. Here are just a few of the amazing features our security suite offers:

• Automatic scanning of your system, including apps and files
• Scans for both Android and Windows viruses to prevent spreading between devices
• When enabled, our Suite’s deep scan breaks apps apart and looks at their contents
• When enabled, our Suite breaks zip files apart and looks at their contents (unique)
• Real-time detection scans new apps and updates
• Real-time detection also scans new files and changes to files (unique)
• When enabled, our Suite protects your browsing against malicious websites

For more information, visit:
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Spam: The Digital Plague

Spam, the digital plague
183 million spam messages are sent worldwide on a daily basis. Spamming can be a lucrative business that saturates email accounts and can transmit malware and viruses to your computer or mobile device.

It is estimated that worldwide, the damage caused by spam reaches in excess of $12 billion dollars. Anti spam activists such as the Spamhause Project or Google, fight against this plague.

Spammers usually operate with nonexistent companies to buy IP addresses and use outside servers. Unfortunately, 4 out of 5 spam messages advertise suspicious online businesses. For example, the so-called Nigerian scam is designed to make you think that you can get millions of dollars but only if you send a sum of money in advanced.

Other spam messages contain files that infect your computer or mobile device that allow hackers to control and access them remotely. Anti spam organizations maintain spam lists, which are used to block suspicious senders and report them to the police.

This digital plague is not something exclusive to Russia and Nigeria, as it is generally thought. In fact, industrialized countries such as Germany and Japan are in the top 10 lists, with the US in the first place.

 10 Worst Spam Countries

Image: The Spamhaus Project


In many countries, spam is difficult to control due to legislation and also because it is difficult to verify that a person did not give consent to receive such messages. Once the spammers are identified, anti spam activists report their information to the police in order to assist in putting a stop to it.

Despite the efforts of organizations such as Spamhaus or the police, the battle against spam is far from over. Spammers are constantly evolving and changing their methods until eventually this junk email will be more methodical, unrecognizable, and better integrated into the daily life.

The amount of spam is not expected to reduce, however anti-spam organizations have a clear objective: to prevent spam from reaching our inbox.

Spam is digital trash and as such it should be sent to the recycle bin unopened. Do not click on any links from spam emails and always protect your mobile devices against malware and other threats with antivirus solutions such as MyAntiTheft.

Tips to Prevent Online Christmas Scams

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“All that glitters is not gold” and when it comes to online scams, Christmas shoppers must watch out for “too good to be true” bargains that could end up hurting their wallets.

According to research conducted in 2013 on behalf of FFA UK by ICM in the UK, online scams cost shoppers $15 million dollars. These people were victims of “vishing” a fraud method that attempts to get personal or financial information via telephone when fraudsters act as technical support agents or sales people.

With cyber Monday and the Christmas shopping season, cybercriminals are offering all kinds of products at very low prices. The website Get Safe Online published a list of the top five most risky items in which you can find Smartphones at the top, followed by game consoles, Ugg boots, Barbour jackets and iPads.

Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it’s probably a scam or fake item.

Learn how to protect yourself when shopping online:

• If you get a call asking you to confirm a purchase, don’t reveal your bank account or shopping details since this is the way most fraudsters work. Just hang up and call your bank from a different phone to make sure everything is ok.
• Check your bank account regularly and make sure that your bank has your contact numbers so they can alert you if anything unusual or suspicious happens.
• Always make sure web URLs start with “https”, pay close attention to the “S” at the end. If the site doesn’t have the S nor the gold padlock icon, avoid shopping from that website.
• For banking or shopping, only use official online websites and mobile apps.
• Type the address of your bank or online shop directly into your browser. Never use a link from your email to go to your bank website nor should you open attached files that ask for personal information.
• If you own or are in the market for a new smartphone or tablet, protect it by downloading MyAntiTheft with MyAntiVirus and make sure it’s safeguarded with a PIN.
• In regards to online auctions and high value items, make sure you see the product before sending money. Use secure payment methods like PayPal instead of paying individual sellers.
• Once all your shopping or banking sessions are done and you followed this online safety guide, log out of the website or app. Also keep every purchase confirmation email.

You might be giving consent to phishing on your mobile device or computer

News about phishing is published constantly on the Internet and TV, warning people about several threats detected every day in emails, phone calls, social engineering, webpages and social media such as Facebook.

However, not everybody pays attention to this news since the majority are not aware of what phishing really is or what it looks like.

Phishing is an online scam designed by cybercriminals to steal money and personal information from your computer or mobile device, ironically, with your consent.

The way criminals do this is by posing like a legitimate company, organization or bank in order collect sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, credit card details and in some cases money.

The best way to avoid being a victim of phishing is by knowing how to recognize it. The following are examples of the most common ways criminals attack:

Phishing Email:
When you get an email from your bank, social media account, school, etc. requesting verification or some kind of urgent action, pay attention to the following signs to detect phishing:

Email Phishing

Generic greeting: since email phishing is sent in large quantities, criminals use generic names such as “Dear valued costumer”. If you don’t see your name in the email, be suspicious.

Forged Link: Phishing is all about posing as a legitimate company, that’s why emails will look exactly as the genuine company layout. Pay attention to the links that they are asking you to go to, and read if they are actually going to the company’s site or to any other random, unfamiliar one. Another way to do this is by looking at the URL, in most cases the URL should start with “https”, the s stands for secure and if you don’t see it, don’t proceed.

Request sensitive information: If an email is requesting sensitive information such as ID data, credit cards or passwords it is probably phishing. Pay even more attention to the URL or link you are at.

Sense of urgency: Cybercriminals want to get your information ASAP. That’s why they will create threatening or confusing messages to get you to act immediately.

Phishing website:

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Poor resolution: This websites are usually poor quality. Be suspicious if the logo, text or resolution is poor.

Forged URL: Some webpages will masquerade their URL with names similar to the company, however always look for the s in “Https” that will tell you if the webpage is secure. Also, look out for URLs that begin with an IP address, such as: http://12.34.56.78/firstgenericbank/account-update/ — these are likely phishes.

Forged URL’s cannot show a domain path, what this means if you are at “http://www.paypal.com” and entering information, be cautious. There should usually be more to the URL. Paypal would not have you enter any information on their home page! This is a masqueraded URL!

Social Media Phishing:

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Phishing in social media is increasing since people are more social and trusting. Cybercriminals know that and are pushing messages containing threats that accounts will be blocked if users don’t verify information, or promising interesting content such as games, videos or pictures.

So, be aware and pay attention to URLs, layouts, and the types of information you are required to give. Be cautious and keep your antivirus, such as MyAntivirus, updated and running since they can detect scams like phishing and malware behind it.

Don’t let malware score a goal against you in the world cup

malware. worldcup. BLOG

Cyber crime can score a goal against you during this world cup as mobile malware is becoming more spread, stealing information, exhausting the life of your devices or money with apps that you install in your mobile devices.

Hackers are targeting IOS but hitting harder on Android devices, as 99% of cybercrime in the first quarter of 2014 targeted Android. Due to the open architecture of Android, it has allowed the increase of threats such as mobile banking Trojans.

Another kind of popular malware being found is Ransomware, a type of malware that locks your device and holds the victim ransom until payment has been made, making it very difficult to uninstall.

Also, malware spreads easily and quickly through social media such as Facebook and Twitter. Impressive pictures or videos are the most common ways to lure victims to download them.

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Nowadays, with the world cup at the highest peak many football fans around the globe follow the latest news and applications in search of a variety of pictures, videos and games.

But for people not aware of these threats, a large portion of these apps are malware and they are set to read your private messages, identify your location or steal your bank account information.

To prevent this, it is not only important to have an antivirus like MyAntivirus but also to read the application permissions before install which require access to your contact list or to pinpoint your location. Some malware can send SMS messages that cost you money or install other malware apps without your knowledge.

The world cup, as any other big event in the past, is becoming a great hook for hackers to attract victims.

Caution is always advised, so get a good antivirus such as MyAntivirus to prevent the installation of malware but also, think twice before agreeing to intrusive app permissions and pushing the install button.