Bank account_resizedGetting online and chatting to friends via social media is now as common as talking to your neighbour. But your neighbour is not likely to dip your pocket or try and extract banking information from you.  To keep yourself protected against the heinous and nefarious on social networking sites you need to practice good identity theft protection with simple antivirus tools – or you may suddenly find yourself seriously out of pocket.

Is your bank account empty?

What a great opportunity, an estimated one billion Facebook users and many of them unsophisticated about security. Hackers love social media sites because they’re an open door to a world of opportunity.

Phishing scams, fake login sites, keylogger apps, and other deadly threats have all surfaced on Facebook. What appears to be a harmless message from a friend or wall post can in fact be a link to a web site designed to steal credit card details or identity information.

Because many Facebook users think of the social media network as a protected environment they’re more vulnerable to attacks. They can be easily tricked into clicking a link they shouldn’t.

Facebook does have an internal virus scanning system that can spot viruses, however, it can’t stop user from falling for simple phishing tricks where users are tricked into revealing log in details or unwittingly download something nasty.

Trojan Virus hidden in Facebook links

Just several months ago a Trojan dubbed Zeus (and also known as Zbot) was discovered hidden in Facebook links.  When a user clicks the link they either unwittingly download the virus or are taken through to a web page where the virus lurks.

It then begins installing itself and sits undetected ready to strike. It scans files and collects login details, even if they aren’t stored in documents on your PC, using keystroke logging. Keystroke logging, also known as keylogging, can record which keys on a keyboard are being pressed.

Zeus can then wait until the user types in their online banking address and login details and steal them.  Once they have the logins, the cybercriminals enter your online accounts and make your money disappear as if by magic,

Ironically, this particular virus has been around for about six years but quite recently made a re-appearance on Facebook and other social networking sites.

It’s believed to have infected close to 4 million computers in the US alone and is attributed to the hacking skills of a criminal group known as the Russian Business Network.

Of course, a clue as to whether the virus is heading your way on Facebook is whether you’re receiving friend’s requests from a host of Russian, Georgian or Chechen people that you’ve never ever heard of.  One of the ways it has spread is through fake Facebook profiles.

Check now to see if your computer is infected in under 60 seconds with Virus Scan

If you’re concerned that your computer may be harbouring silent viruses or you have suspicions about a Facebook link you’ve clicked you can run a free BullGuard online virus scan.

With one of the highest virus catch rates in the industry BullGuard will scour your system for a wide range of virus strains including worms, Trojan’s like Zeus, spyware, identity theft and more. It doesn’t cost you a bean and yet it could make all the difference between you being scammed via a social media site or staying absolutely safe.

Posted by Steve Bell

 

Written by Steve Bell (96 Posts)

Steve has a background in IT and business journalism and in the past has written extensively for both the UK national and trade press including The Guardian, Independent-on-Sunday, The Times, The Register, MicroScope and Computer Weekly. He's also worked for most of the world's largest IT companies in a copy and content producing capacity. He has a particular focus on IT security and has been involved in writing about the industry at various levels ranging from magazine launches to producing newsletters. He also runs a small copy writing business called Art of Words. When not bashing away at a keyboard he can sometimes be found in a boxing gym making futile efforts to keep fit or marveling at the works of Sufi poets such as Jalaluddin Rumi and Hafiz of Shiraz.


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