The web can be a dangerous friend, and this Valentines Day security experts are expecting spam to quadruple as we approach the day of love. But before you go opening every delightfully romantic email, here are some things to remember.
According to security firm McAfee, spam is set to increase over the next week, with more e-cards, scams, and malware likely to make their way to your inbox in the guise of a Valentines Day message.
It’s not just email, with Facebook and Twitter spam set to increase. We’ve already seen a larger amount of Spambots on Twitter in the past week, and Facebook scams will surface over the next few days encouraging you to download backgrounds, music, or to send love poems to another person’s Facebook wall.
Using clickjacking techniques seen on past scams, you could find yourself the victim of a cyberattack, with your identity compromised, showing things on your wall that you don’t necessarily agree with. Worse, you could compromise your password, allowing some other mischievous soul to break into your Facebook or email account.
“Most of us dream of chocolates, flowers and romantic dinners on Valentines Day, but be warned: scammers take advantage of this special day to dream up cyber-ploys designed to break your heart and quite possibly your bank account,” said McAfee’s Monica Kelly.
“Whether you are online to book a restaurant or shopping for a gift, it is important to remember that Valentines scams can show up while you are online, whether you are using your computer, smartphone or tablet, or can be sent via text or social media message.”
It goes without saying that you should be using some form of up-to-date internet security package, but if you’re not, make sure to take care before you click on a link.
Ask yourself if the email, text message, or sounds legit and if you really should be clicking. If you’re contacted out of the blue for a date, Google the person or some of the text they’re contacting you with and see if it’s a scam.
And remember, if something sounds too good to be true – winning the lottery or being asked to dinner by a supermodel – it probably is.