With the announcement from President Obama Wednesday that pictures of the former Taliban leader’s death will not be released, consumers should ignore all e-mails, Facebook messages and Internet ads linking to these items.
For example, on Facebook, a fake video titled “Osama Bin Laden Death Video” invites consumers to click on an outside link to watch. However, the link will install malware on their computer, which may allow a criminal to access personal data stored on your computer. The malware will also repost the message on your profile wall, potentially putting your friends’ computers at risk as well.
Currently there are no reports of any serious identity theft issues related to these links, but consumers should keep the following tips in mind:
· Never reply to an e-mail that is asking you for personal information. Even if the e-mail appears to be from a trusted source, this may be a phishing attack, where someone is trying to illegitimately obtain your personal or financial information. Delete the e-mail immediately.
·Do not click on any links from sources that you are unfamiliar with. This may be a phishing attack, where someone is trying to redirect you to a website that may automatically trigger malicious code and infect your computer. If you really want to check out a link sent to you by e-mail, research the company or individual first to confirm they are trustworthy. If so, then manually retype the link into a secure web browser.
·Keep anti-spyware, anti-virus and anti-spam software up to date. These technologies are designed to help keep phishing attacks at a minimum.