Hackers are joining your friends on popular social networking sites in a new form of identity theft. They typically trick you into downloading programs that record keystrokes and sit back and wait for you to key in passwords and email address. Then they log on as you and wreak havoc on your social networking life and, possibly, your financial life.
They also use video links, fake antivirus deals and other ruses to get your goat. However, independent research, reveals fallout from the Great Recession includes all kinds of cyber crimes.
To avoid problems on social networks and online in general, an AARP Scam Alert advises:
• Don't click on links in email -- even friends' email -- without checking them out with a phone call or otherwise off line.
• Update software direct from the maker's website, not through a provided link.
• Make your social networking account private, open only to friends.
• Regularly scan your computer for viruses and update operating system as soon as updates are available. The updates often include added protection from current virus attacks.
• Always be suspicious of anyone asking for money or offering to give you large sums of money over the Internet.