3 Ways to Avoid Olympic-Themed Malware and Scams

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Earlier this week, F-Secure Labs found a malicious Olympic-themed PDF. So we thought this would be a good time to talk about a topic comes up whenever an event like the World Cup, a celebrity death or even a tsunami captures the world’s attention.

Online criminals know millions of us are bound to be obsessed with the Olympics. So they’re going to use our interest to lure us into doing dumb things we would not normally do.

Here’s what you can to do help avoid current event threats.

1. Be wary of any email or private message that includes attachments or links.
Everyone knows opening an email attachment you weren’t expecting is dangerous. However links in emails can easily lead to malicious attacks or scams. Be extra suspicious of any emails related to topical events and celebrities. If you must click the link, check it with Browsing Protection first. Also keep in mind that private messages in Twitter with links often lead to phishing scams. While these scams probably won’t lead to malware, they could end up with a very embarrassing spamming of all your friends and followers.

2. Keep your system patched and protected.
The Olympic-themed malicious PDF the Labs found relied on an exploit in older versions of Adobe Reader. Other attacks will use other exploits. This is why it’s crucial you keep your Adobe Reader, Java, browsers, operating system and security software updated. Our Health Check makes this easy on your PC.

3. If a message is about a current event or seems to good (or bad) to be true, pause for a moment.
If you are looking for information on breaking news use the Google News search when available. If you get an email from your bank or credit card company that seems odd, call your institution. If you get a message that says someone has been saying bad things about you, don’t click on the link. Because this is the Internet. Of course someone is saying bad things about you somewhere. Clicking on the link can only lead to bad things, like a scam.

Events like the Olympics bring the world together. With some savvy, you can enjoy the games without the trouble of a comprised computer.

Cheers,

Anna

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