Next time you check out what your friends are doing on Facebook, make sure you're extra careful to protect your checking account.
According to a report from Nicole Perlroth at The New York Times, a computer virus known as Zeus is currently spreading across the social-media giant. Like many types of malware, the virus infects a computer without any typical signs of infection. Once a user visits his or her online banking site, the virus "wakes up," steals login information and empties the user's checking and savings accounts.
Zeus isn't the only example of a virus that poses serious risks to Facebook users. McAfee, one of the biggest computer security companies in the world, recently released a new quarterly report on all of the threats facing computer users. The report highlights another worm called Koobface that targets Facebook and Twitter users.
"The resurrection of Koobface reminds us that social networks continue to present a substantial opportunity for intercepting personal information," Vincent Weafer, senior vice president of McAfee Labs, said in a statement.
How can you prevent attacks? The first step is to be very wary of links from friends that invite you to click on pictures or links. These viruses prey on online users who easily fall into the trap of receiving a message from a "friend" and automatically clicking on it. I've noticed a few of these messages online. They typically include some kind of vague invitation to view such as, "Did you see yourself in these?"
While hackers have grown increasingly smart about how to target sensitive information, users have grown more susceptible to potential attacks simply by being careless. Remember to be cautious about what you're clicking on, what sites you're visiting and where you're entering personal data.
Have you been receiving any suspicious links from your Facebook friends or Twitter followers? Do you have any antivirus software recommendations to help fellow readers protect themselves and their banking information?