Ransomware Hides in the Shadows of Social Media, Here’s How to Spot It

Lock on background with HEX-codeIt is no secret that malware is a growing problem. Back in 2013, there were an average of 82,000 malware threats a day. Now, this number has increased so dramatically that half of the web is vulnerable to malware.

Menlo Security, a malware isolation company, announced earlier this week that 46% of the Internet’s top one million web sites are at risk for malware and viruses. These websites are ranked by Google’s Alexa, and the findings were published in the State of the Web 2016 report.

So what is classified as vulnerable or risky? Menlo states that a site is risky if it has had a security breach within the past year, is running software that is not backed up by the proper databases, or if a web host knows its website is bad but will take no action to improve it.

Risk can hit a little closer to home than you might think, too. A new study has shown that our social networks could be prone to malware and can infect personal computers with the click of a button.

Researchers at Check Point have discovered a certain strain of malware, ransomware known as Locky, that forces your browser to download a malicious file the moment you open it. Once it is downloaded, all files on the computer are encrypted until the owner pays a hefty fine.

Locky has been found on various websites including Facebook and LinkedIn, which can be detrimental for freelance writers and anyone who is looking to make connections.

What is explicitly scary about this malware is that even large anti-virus providers do not have any control over protecting users as they trust big social networks. They believe that these platforms cannot be hacked, so they do not offer the level of protection needed.

So for now, social media experts warn users to watch what they are downloading, and to install anti-virus and ransomware detectors on their devices immediately.

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