Scam Alert For GrandMa and Non Geeks

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Scam Alert For GrandMa and Non Geeks

If you're actually reading this blog than chances are online scammers won't be able to trick you into giving them your hard earned cash. But what about people we care about that don't actually spend all their time online or just use their DSL lines to go into social networking sites? What about Grandma?

Over the years online fraud has been growing and the main reason for that is that somebody really falls for it. You may think that a scam attempt looks dumb and nobody will fall for it but somebody does and Lifehacker has some tips to help our less techie friends and loved ones to avoid getting scammed.

I guess the ones that easily get the attention of our inexperienced friends is the scareware.

Ignore Web Site Popups Saying You Have a Virus

Last Friday half of my day was wasted removing a malware called Advanced Virus Remover from somebody's PC because they clicked an ad that said they had a virus, and then installed the "recommended" software, which proceeded to hold their computer hostage. These "scareware" viruses are becoming commonplace, and there are so many different names that it's impossible to keep track of all of them.

The simple solution is to pick a single antivirus app for your loved ones and train them to know exactly which one they have installed. My mom's PC came pre-installed with Norton Antivirus, and I've trained her to ignore any other messages unless they come from Norton—and that if she isn't sure, she should click the X in the upper right-hand corner of the screen, or even just turn the PC off entirely and restart it. It's not a perfect solution, and I'd rather have her using Microsoft Security Essentials, but she's used to it now and it's a whole lot better than spending a day removing a scareware virus from her computer.

There's a lot of things we can teach when it comes to avoiding online scams but I guess the best thing everyone can start with is good old common sense. Don't give out important information just because it's written on a website. Check out the source link and let Grandma have a read. Who knows, it might save you or her a lot of time and money.

Posted by Jab Escutin
Source: Lifehacker