Does Flash Need to Update or Are You Getting Hacked?
Computers update on a regular basis. When we see a pop-up that tells us that flash, or java, or our video player needs to update, we click okay without giving it a second thought. This is something that online scam artists are now taking advantage of. Before you agree to update anything on your computer, make sure you are not updating your way into a hack.
The first warning sign should be that the update comes in a pop-up box while you are loading a website. Generally getting hacked happens with less reputable sites. The site owner, however, may not even know that someone is using his or her website to download malware onto the computers of unsuspecting visitors. Do not trust pop-ups on sites that you visit. This actually goes for reputable sites as well. Facebook has been the victim of such a scam in the past, and tens of thousands of users downloaded the malware as a result.
What should you do if you have already clicked on such a pop-up and are now struggling with the malware. Some may have a simple fix, such as running a free malware remover. Others hide and multiply no matter how thoroughly you thought you erased them. In most cases it is a good idea to bring an infected machine to a professional. This will ensure that the malware is completely eradicated. You do not want to accidentally leave phishing software on your computer which could allow hackers to lift your passwords or credit card information as you go about your daily business online.
When it comes to clicking okay to anything on your computer, you should always be wary. If you do see a shady pop-up, close your browser immediately, and do not use the site you were at anymore unless it is unavoidable. Sites like Facebook will generally discover a hack in a short amount of time and remove it, making such sites relatively safe. Just be wary of any site that tries to get you to download something you did not specifically search for.