Have you heard the joke about Microsoft Edge, the web browser that replaced Internet Explorer a few years ago? It goes something like this: The only reason to use Microsoft Edge is to download Google Chrome.
Yet, there is a major problem with Microsoft Edge when it comes to downloading Chrome and it’s no laughing matter. It’s a dangerous trick that fools you in a similar way that phishing emails entice you to click on a link only to find out that it’s malware or worse.
The problem is that malware and adware will likely be installed onto your device. If you’re using Microsoft’s Windows 10 operating system, you could be in danger.
Note: Keep reading for clues to this attack.
Watch for this red flag
You know how phishing email scams work. Hackers send you links in emails that look like they’re from a reputable company like LinkedIn, so you click on it.
The problem is that the hackers either load your laptop with malware or take you to a legitimate-looking website where they trick you into sharing your ID, private information and financial credentials. It can be difficult to reclaim your ID once it’s gone and it can be tough to get rid of malware once it’s deep in your system.
In a similar way, this Google Chrome download is a fake. It affects people using Microsoft’s Bing search engine from Microsoft Edge. If you search for “download Chrome,” some people are being taken to a bogus site called googleonline2018, making you think you’re on Google.
If you look into the properties of the download, it will show you that the company that created it is Alpha Criteria, not Google. The likely result is that your device will be loaded with malware and adware.
Here’s what you need to do
First, do not click on a link unless you know for sure that it’s safe. Plus, fortunately, Microsoft says the problem has been fixed and if you search for “download Google” on other search engines, you will most likely be alerted that it’s an unsafe site.
Second, make sure that you have a top-tier security system installed on your laptop. And make sure you backup all your important files and cherished family photos.
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