The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, which raises awareness for ALS research, invites people to challenge their family and friends to pour a bucket of ice water over their head within 24 hours, or make a $100 donation.
“Cybercriminals have a long history of capitalizing on the hottest trends and latest headlines to disguise their evil doings,” Steven Sundermeier, owner of Thirtyseven4 said in a press release. “Recently, we’ve seen it with Facebook scammers posting bogus video claims of beloved actor and comedian Robin Williams saying his last goodbyes. Cybercriminals are also exploiting the world’s attention to the Ebola virus outbreak by luring them into opening malicious email attachments. The now-viral Ice Bucket Challenge will be no exception, especially with high-profile celebrities getting involved and the challenge going global. I feel it’s only a matter of time before fake ALS donation websites start polluting social networking sites and other malware operations start surfacing.”
In response to the threat of a possible Ice Bucket Challenge-related scam, Thirtyseven4 has released a list of five steps for users to avoid falling victim to cyber attacks.
Firstly, if you are interested in a trending news topic or donating to a charity, visit a reputable news site or to the organization’s site by typing the URL directly into the browser. Secondly, never click ‘OK’ or ‘Yes’ if a message box appears seeking permission to install an add-on or update, or asks for permission to view blocked content. Be wary and use common sense when reading too-good-to-be-true stories, posts or emails. Make sure antivirus software is installed on your computer, and that the virus database files are up-to-date. Finally, perform regular operating system updates on your computer.
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