Internet Security risks

Viruses & Malware are always a risk to computers, tablets, and smartphones. Learn about device and equipment scams, get security tips and learn how to report fraud if it occurs.


Malware is a kind of software that can be installed on a computer without the knowledge of the computer user. These programs can steal passwords, delete files, collect personal information or even stop a computer from working at all.

A few different types of malwares:

  • A virus is the most common type of malware which can execute itself and spread by infecting other programs or files.

  • A worm can self-replicate without a host program and typically spreads without any human interaction or directives from the malware authors.

  • A Trojan horse is designed to appear as a legitimate program in order to gain access to a system. Once activated following installation, Trojans can execute their malicious functions.

  • Spyware is made to collect information and data on your device and observe your activity without your knowledge.

  • Ransomware is a type of malicious software designed to block access to a computer system or computer files until a sum of money is paid. Most ransomware variants encrypt the files on the affected computer, making them inaccessible, and demand a ransom payment to restore access

Phishing and fake websites

Phishing is the act of attempting to acquire personal information such as passwords and personal details by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication.

It often directs users to enter personal information at a fake website which matches the look and feel of the legitimate site. An attacker can also potentially use flaws in a trusted website's own scripts against the victim. These types of attacks (known as cross-site scripting) are problematic, because they direct the user to sign in at their bank or service's own web page, where everything from the web address to the security certificates appears correct. In reality, the link to the website is crafted to carry out the attack, making it very difficult to spot without specialist knowledge.

Social Media Scams

There are many scammers who use social media channels. Certain scams might be common but may use different techniques. A few examples of social media scams are given below to help you to identify common scams and prevent them from occurring.

Lottery and Free Gift Card Scams

  • Remember that you can’t win a lottery you never entered.

  • Beware of entering your personal information in websites, especially banking details.

Gossip Scams

  • Beware of gossip headlines and look at the URL of the source.

  • If prompted to download Adobe Flash, download directly from the Adobe site rather than the page you were directed to

Healthcare Scams

  • Double check the service offered with other providers.

  • Verify the information by contacting the service provider.


Catfishing is a type of online harassment in which someone creates a fake identity online for the purpose of starting a relationship. They use this relationship to scam you for money.

How you can spot Catfishing:

  • The person is too good to be true or in a glamorous profession.

  • There are inconsistencies in the person’s profile.

  • The person is in a rush to move the relationship with you along.

  • They won’t meet you in person

Account cancelled Scam

  • Beware of requests that rush you to take action.

  • There should not be a need for you to release your account details.

Security tips for staying safe

Run regular antivirus scans
Have an up to date antivirus from a reputed organization

One of the current problems with malware is its persistence. In the old days, computer viruses and malware were discovered, cleaned up, and then you were done with it. Modern-day malware is persistent, capable of hiding in registries or startup services, and capable of re-infecting the computer on reboot if the malware isn't completely eradicated. So, part of running a scan is being prepared for persistent malware and understanding how best to combat it.

Make backing up your data a habit, in the event you are infected with ransomware or need to rebuild your computer, the backup’s will help you to get up and operational fast.

Regularly patch your computer

Operating system and application software manufacturers regularly releases system updates known as patches, these patches fix security or functional issues identified in these software. It is highly advisable to keep your system up to date with these patches, specially the security patches in order to close any security flaws that an attacker can exploit.

Keep your Wi-Fi network safe

  • Change the default name of your home Wi-Fi

  • Make your wireless network password unique and strong

  • Enable network encryption

  • Turn off network name broadcasting

  • Keep your router’s software up to date

  • Make sure you have turned on the default firewall in your router and or install a good firewall software in to your computer

  • Use VPNs to access your network

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