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Monthly Archive for December, 2009

Social media viruses? What’s next?

Did you know you could get a dangerous computer virus as a result of using popular social media sites? Oy ve! Is nothing sacred?

Actually, just logging in to Twitter and doing regular stuff won’t cause you to become a victim of those malicious mavens of Moldavia who want to use your computer as a zombie for their dastardly deeds. BUT … if you get suckered into following something that you would recognize as phishing if it came in an email, and then you make two more clicks, they gotcha. Here’s what it might look like:

1. You get a post on Facebook, for example, from “someone” who claims to be a friend, or might even look exactly like a friend (more on that later).
2. The post says something like, “I can’t believe you were caught on this YouTube video.”
3. You can’t wait to see what this is all about and click on the link to what you think is YouTube.
4. But, instead of going to YouTube, you’re taken to a page that instructs you to download an “update” you will need to view the video.
5. STOP! You are now one tiny thumb-stroke away from being infected with a virus like Koobface, which is standing by, ready to wreak havoc on your IT system and all of your friends.

On that “friend” thing, the post might actually come from a real friend who, like a big dummy, did Step 5, got infected and thereby introduced you to the handy-work of mischievous Moldavians, or those crazy kids in the Ukraine.

Okay, I admit that most of us would not actually click all the way through to download at Step 5. But the news is that the virus vandals are out there, they know who you are, where you live, how you like to behave online and they want a piece of you – at least your computer. And now that we know they’ve entered the social networking universe, we also know they will get better at their dastardly deeds, which means we have to be more vigilant at intercepting and eradicating them.

Recently, on my radio program, The Small Business Advocate Show, I spoke with e-virus eradication expert, Chip Reaves, CEO of Computer Troubleshooters Global, LLC. Chip is also a member of my Brain Trust, and he provided more information on the social media virus issue, including how to protect yourself. Take a few minutes to listen to this interview and, as always, leave your own thoughts. Listen Live! Download, Too!