Did you ever think we'd be able to have face-to-face conversations with people halfway across the globe? Apps like FaceTime and Skype have brought this futuristic technology to life, making the 1960s cartoon series "The Jetsons" seem clairvoyant.
Whenever websites or apps like these get popular, criminals begin targeting their users. Now, a new attack is making the rounds that you really need to know about.
How criminals are targeting Skype users
Hackers are infecting Skype users' gadgets with ransomware. They are doing this with malicious downloads that look like ads on Microsoft's Skype app. If the victim clicks on the malicious ad, their gadget is locked and a ransom is demanded to regain access.
One of the fake ads discovered this week was disguised as a critical update for the Flash web plug-in. Instead, an HTML application is downloaded when opened ransomware is loaded onto the gadget.
Obviously, not having your gadget infected with ransomware would be better than dealing with these scammers. Read these tips on boosting your safety online to help.
Keep reading for more ideas to stay protected from ransomare attacks.
How to defend against a ransomware attack
- Back up data regularly - This is the best way to recover your critical data if you are infected. We recommend our sponsor IDrive where you can backup all your PCs, Macs and mobile devices into one account for one low cost. Click here to receive a special 50 percent discount as a loyal Kim Komando listener.
- Never click on risky links - Don't open attachments or click on links from unsolicited emails or pop-up ads. It could be a phishing attack that leads to ransomware. It's always better to type a website's address directly into a browser than clicking on a link. Before you ever click on a link, hover over it with your mouse to see where it is going to take you. If the destination isn't what the link claims, do not click on it.
- Download only trusted software - If you are going to download apps, get them from official app stores like Google Play or Apple's App Store. These official app stores have security measures in place that stop malicious apps from being available. In almost every case, a malicious app will come from a third-party app store.
- Have strong security software - This will help prevent the installation of ransomware on your gadget.
If you want to learn more about ransomware, listen to our podcast on how to avoid ransomware pitfalls.