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Monday, 23 March 2015

How to avoid being infected or scammed

Ever had this unknown person contacting you on Skype? I did, twice recently. Being skeptical but bored at the same time, I took to the challenge of accepting their request. Of course they pose as women. But although you could probably tell in the beginning, I had nothing better to do but to amuse myself with their company. Also, you may remember being infected by a file you've downloaded. That can also easily be avoided. Here are some safety procedures everyone should take:

  1. Look for any errors or suspicious qualities about the name, title, or URL. Usually scams have something striking out in one of those texts.
  2. Always ask for identification before entering your credit card or whatever into some shady website. That means more than just pictures, you need to confirm they're real via video chat.
  3. Although they may be using a fake webcam, that should is far from foolproof, just ask them to perform some random actions and see how they can respond.
  4. If they only provided images, examine them carefully. That includes using Google reverse image search, TinEye, or something similar.
  5. If the above are not met, just block the person and report them to the proper authorities.
  6. As for files you download, a simple way to check is via file extensions. Make sure that is enabled on your computer settings.
  7. Unless you're using some outdated versions of Windows Media Player or something, video files such as AVI, MP4, MKV, etc. are safe to open. If they're hiding something, that will either not run since nothing is executed or display a corrupted file.
  8. The same can be said for text files (TXT, LOG, etc.) and images (JPEG, PNG, GIF, etc.)
  9. Watch out for executable files and scripts. Those can run malicious programs on your computer. For example: EXE, BAT, SCR, etc.
  10. If you still want to see what they are, upload the file to VirusTotal so it can be scanned by virtually all known anti-virus engines. Then open it in a program like Sandboxie or VirtualBox, where it never touches your real system.
  11. VirusTotal can be used to scan URLs you suspect as well!
As always, I hope you guys learn something out of reading this, and have a good one!

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