Cybercriminals can use your computer to steal your personal information and install malware and inevitably make a lot of money off you if you're not extremely careful. Here are a few questions to rate your knowledge about computer crime and how to avoid becoming a victim.
How smart are you when it comes to spyware? Take our short quiz and find out!
1: A pop-up ad appears on your screen offering an "anti-spyware" product. What do you do?
a. Click on the link in the ad to learn more about the company and it's products before purchasing anything.
b. Click on the link in the ad, provide your credit card info and purchase the product right away.
c. Close the window and get your spyware protection software from cat-man-du (a provider you know and trust).
2: Cybercriminals can monitor what you do on your computer using "spyware" programs that they secretly install. How can you tell if your computer is being affected by spyware?
a. Look for signs of tampering, such as a missing battery cover or hidden microphones or cameras in or nearby your computer.
b. Watch for weird computer behavior such as a flood of pop-up ads, new windows opening unexpectedly, changes in your home page or toolbars, or slow performance.
c. Search for any files on your computer whose name contains the word spyware. It may have an icon very similar to others you use regularly.
3: While surfing the internet, a pop-up ad takes you to a site offering a free game for your computer. What's the next step?
a. Do some research to decide whether it's safe to download the game.
b. Download it now and share it with a friend, everyone deserves a free game.
c. Go ahead and download it - you can always uninstall it later if there's a problem.
4: A friend sends you a link to a site offering anti-spyware software, should you download it?
a. Check to see if the site includes an end-user license agreement (EULA) for the software. If it's hard to find or difficult to understand, think twice about installing the software.
b. Your friend would never send you anything that wasn't safe, go ahead and install it.
c. Carefully read the site's promotional text, if it sounds like it could help you, try downloading it and see if it works.
5: Experts warn of 'drive-by' downloads which is software that gets downloaded to your computer from an internet site without your knowledge. What's the best way to prevent this?
a. Watch the indicator light on your modem. If it starts to flash or blink, someone may be trying to send you unwanted software.
b. Surf fast. If you don't linger on any one page for more than a few seconds you can reduce your risk of drive-by downloads.
c. Make sure that the security setting for your browser is high enough to detect unauthorized downloads. Also, make sure you have installed the most recent version of your browser software.
Notes about the quiz:
Some free offers bundle other software, including spyware that could leave your computer vulnerable to monitoring or other annoyances. Before you download anything you should find out what the side effects are before installing it.
If a free download comes bundled with spyware, it may be mentioned only in the EULA or in the ‘terms & conditions.’ If the EULA is hard to find or understand, it could mean the provider is trying to sneak the spyware by you.
The most common signs your computer may be infected are sudden changes ion it’s behavior. If you notice such changes, be sure your operating system is up-to-date and if you decide to install spyware protection, let cat.man.du help you do that.