April Fools’ Day is definitely the day of the year when everyone has their guard up. Hackers know that and tend to be extra active on April 1st. How? With the simplest maneuvers to trick users into clicking on links, opening poisoned attachments or even handing over their passwords in the mistaken belief that they’re logging into a legitimate website.
Get familiar with some common scams you should look out for – regardless of the date – but with special care on April Fools’ Day.
Got your email! What email?
Scary answer! You can be communicating with a hacker without having the slightest idea about it!
Don’t be ashamed of picking up the telephone or even asking your loved one or friend in person about that email that you found a bit weird. You may think it looks a bit old-fashioned, but better old-fashioned than unsafe. Hackers can easily seize email accounts, including address books and a whole existing message thread with you.
Is that link going where you think it’s really going?
The invention of HTML email, with all its beautiful fonts, images and colors, was undoubtedly awesome – but not necessarily a good step for security.
Unlike a plaintext email, simple HTML tricks mean that you cannot always tell where that link is going to take your browser. Online criminals regularly use this trick to dupe users into visiting phishing sites. Hovering your mouse over a link will often help determine where a link might really go before you click it, but there are still tricks that scammers can use in their attempt to fool you…
Is that an L or an I in that URL?
Is this the real Lloyds bank website – www.Iloydsbank.com? Well, if you’ve got this far in the article you probably guessed that it’s not. But how come it looks like the URL of the Lloyds Bank website?
There are many different examples, but in this case an attacker could take advantage of the fact that an uppercase letter “i” looks just like a lower case “L” in this particular font.
Is that an attachment or a link?
You receive an email with an attachment at your Gmail account, you click on the attachment, and in a new browser tab you are prompted to re-enter your Google password. Would you?
What’s sneaky about this particular attack is not that the email attachment was infected by malware. No, what’s crafty here is that there was no email attachment in the first place. What you clicked on was an embedded image in the email, which linked to a phishing page. Craftily the scammer has designed their image to look just like an attachment in Gmail.
All these precautions are a must-do nowadays. Must-do. Yet, if you don’t want to be fooled at all and mainly if you really want to have peace of mind about your PC, ZoneAlarm Extreme Security is the most comprehensive multilayered security suite on the market that stops the toughest viruses, spyware and hackers. It is the ultimate solution for internet security and firewall protection, ensuring a 100% virus-free PC.
April Fool’s day is almost upon us. Take care on the big day, but more than that – keep your guard up every day of the year. ZoneAlarm will always be there for you.