The excitement and curiosity over the death of Osama bin Laden hasn't just sparked a flurry of activity on the Internet — it's also become a feeding ground for hackers looking to steal your information. Just because something shows up in a Google search or gets past your spam folder doesn't mean it's legit — hackers prey on unsuspecting victims during news events by hiding malicious links and viruses in common-looking web pages. They may even send out phishing emails, teasing leaked or exclusive photos in order to get you to hand over credit card info, download a virus, or even gain access to home networks. How can you protect yourself against a cyberattack? Check out my tips below!
- Beware of unknown links: Just because something shows up in your inbox or on your Facebook wall doesn't mean it's not spam. If you don't know where the link came from (or it looks suspicious), don't click!
- Don't give out usernames or passwords: If you've been asked to enter your username and password anywhere else than a legit online account you already frequent, back away slowly.
Check out the rest of my tips after the jump.
- Don't download unknown attachments: Receive a flier in your inbox for posthumous bin Laden pics or leaked video of the military operation that took him down? Be sure you know who sent it first — downloading malicious documents to your computer is a quick and surefire way for hackers to get your personal data.
- Go straight to the source: When you're looking for the most up-to-date bin Laden or political news, it's likely that you'll do a Google search. If you find a great search result from a site you've never heard of, head to the website directly by typing the name into your browser bar. As stated above, clicking on unknown links can open up lots of drama, including stolen logins, stolen identity, and most of all, viruses.