You can imagine that during the course of a single work day, no matter where you work, there are multiple occasions when someone poses a question that you simply do not have the answer to. I include myself in this equation and find that I practically live inside a popular search engine several times a time out of necessity. We are lucky to live in a search engine-riddled world aren’t we? Fire up the browser and enter a few key words and BAM! -the answer you seek appears right in front of you. Or does it?
How can you tell if you have found valuable information in the age of “click-bait”? Click bait is generally a term used to describe web links that appear to be informational in nature but tend to be rather economical with real fact and truths. The objective of click bait is to get you to click, read and potentially purchase something. Who cares if you actually find the answer to the question you were seeking because you just bought a really cool pair of sunglasses instead. Click bait can also be something really fun and entertaining like a “Top 5 Places to Retire” list or something a little more salacious in nature.
Have you considered that when you randomly click on web links you are also getting dangerously close to introducing malware, worms and viruses into your home or work computer? There are multiple opportunities for this to happen even when you think you are on a totally safe and neutral entertainment website.
Internet Virus protection expert McAfee recently revealed their annual list of celebrity name searches that have a high probability of injecting malware into the searcher’s computer. McAfee has been creating this list for 10 years in an effort to educate internet browsers like you and me to be extra cautious especially when we are just seeking a little entertaining diversion like the hilarious and talented Amy Schumer.
The top 10 celebrities from this year’s 2016 McAfee study with the highest risk percentages according to a recent Yahoo Finance article as seen below.
STAYING CYBER SAFE IS EASIER THAN YOU THINK
Remember when your parents used to try to convince you that generic grocery store candy was just as yummy as brand name candy? Well, to be honest, it isn’t is it? The same can be said for unknown websites and e-commerce merchants that you perhaps have never heard of. Stand clear of unknown webpages and merchants whenever possible. A fabulous deal on shoes may just be your next malware or virus infection on your home or work PC. Some additional tips to think about in no particular order are listed below.
- Use a safe browser feature on your PC as often as you can.
- Do not store passwords within your online address book or inside of documents saved to your desktop. If you must list a reminder for yourself go with something that serves as a memory prompt instead of the actual password like “My usual place”.
- Never go without a virus protection tool and regularly scheduled scans.
- Use websites that are widely regarded as mainstream and safe including merchant websites. Don’t be taken in by enormous online bargains that very well could be offered up by fake click bait merchants.
- Change your passwords with regularity. Don’t wait for a hacker to hijack your online accounts to be the impetus for changing your passwords in a timely fashion.
- Follow a trustworthy source of information like me! Come join CO-OP’s Fraud Buzz monthly webinars to learn more about preventing fraud and don’t forget to tune into my Twitter feed #COOPFRAUDBUZZ.
Be safe and happy clicking!
John Buzzard hosts CO-OP’s FraudBuzz webinar on the third Thursday of every month. Update yourself on the latest security issues – and collaborate on solutions. For more information, click the banner below.