The internet carries its own currencies. Zynga Coins, Facebook Credits and XBOX Points are all online equivalents of cold hard cash that can be used to buy virtual goods, enhancing gaming, social networking and a bundle of other activities that require some sort of monetary outlay to be made complete.
Well, you probably don’t need us to tell you that exchanging cash online is fraught with danger. If you buy any of the above – or the more anonymous Bitcoins – you should be vigilant at all times. As with anywhere money is exchanged, thieves are ready and willing to dip into your pocket.
The modus operandi of our online currency thief is simple. A Trojan virus is added to your computer when you download some seemingly innocuous software. That Trojan, over time, mines your Bitcoins – for example – account, slowly taking currency here and there, delivering it back to the creator of the virus without them having to do a thing.
This really hammers home the fact that we all must be careful when downloading anything. If you don’t know or trust the source, avoid it. Trojans can be completely symptomless, working away in the background while you are blissfully unaware.
In order to stay safe:
- Ensure you understand how the currency works and the possible implications should your digital wallet be a target for cybercriminals.
- Do not use your Bitcoins address if your account has been compromised.
- Keep active tabs on your digital purse.
- Stay away from phishing emails and security updates you haven’t specifically sought out to download.
If you get caught out, you can start to lose real currency, and cybercriminals will have access to your personal information, meaning things could get a lot worse.