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Are We Really Alert Enough to Net Dangers?

Are We Really Alert Enough to Net Dangers?

In a web world constantly bringing waves of viruses and scams to everybody’s devices, comes news of a new sinister con, in which victims are held to ransom. This is just one of three new dangers we alert readers to this week.

1. Self-Trolling Raises New Self-Harm Fears

In a weird twist to the fact that hundreds of teenagers self harm, comes news that there is an online variant. They troll themselves.

They put up cyber-identities (or keep their own) on Facebook and make controversial, hostile, disparaging and abusive remarks about themselves. The net being what it is, others soon join in and before anyone knows it, a whole can of psychologically dangerous worms has been opened and more damage is done to the originator.

There is more information about self-harming available.

For other blogs about net dangers, see:

Questions About Social Media’s Recent Character Invite Comment and Abuse, 11 September 2013

Internet Safety for Children: Too Little Too Late? 9 July 2012

A New Evil from Sick People Stalks the Net, 11 June 2012

Robots Googling Each Other Was Only a Matter of Time, 21 May 2013

2. Innocents Held to Ransom By New Virus

Cryotolocker is a form of ransonware, a virus contained in email attachments on letters about suspicious payments, bank accounts and invoices. Once opened it effectively freezes the computer until two Bitcoins (internet currency) are paid for release.

Two such virtual units of money are well over £500, so it’s a hefty demand plus as crime fighters are pointing out, even when paid, there is no guarantee it will entice the crims to release the computer. Another handful of Bitcoins could be demanded.

Small and medium sized businesses are the current targets at the moment, but individuals could soon be blitzed with these scams. There are variants where an individual’s computer screen may suddenly be locked with a message that looks like a police notice, saying the user has downloaded child pornography and must now pay a ‘fine’ for release of the computer. Again it’s a scam. Or a way into the computer’s data.

For more info about Bitcoins, see:

Essential Updates on Two Earlier MBF Blogs, 5 November 2013

Digital Currency Spells the End of Paper, Coin and Gold Backed Money, 14 May 2013

For other cybercrime blogs, see:

Cybercriminals Should Keep Us All Alert, Looking Over Our Shoulders, 22 October 2013

In Cybercrime Defence, You’re Only As Good As Your Attackers’ Last Attempt, 17 June 2013

There is more advice about online safety for all.

3. Bugs Clinging to iPads

It seems that too few people are washing their hands after going to the toilet. How do we know? A recent Which? survey has found that ‘hazardous’ levels of germs that cause vomiting, diarrhoea and other stuff are on tablets, keyboards and smartphones.

People increasingly use devices while in the toilet, and the consumer magazine tested 30 of them. To say they were alarmed by the levels of potential illnesses would be to understate it. Device hygiene? Mmmm.