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Virgin Digital Help Virus Guide: Twitter Spam

Are you a tweeter? Do you love the constant, immediate stream of information to which you have access 24 hours a day? If so, you may have been followed by some accounts that seem unusual. They may have no bio, they may just tweet links constantly. They may even tweet completely incomprehensible, baffling nonsense (though a lot of normal accounts do this too). 

These accounts are Spambots. They are created with the intention of luring you into clicking the links they tweet out, which then take you to scam sites or worse, malware. 

If you’re followed by one of these accounts, Twitter has a ‘block and report for spam’ feature that you should click immediately to prevent other users from being tricked. 

Never, under any circumstances, click a link you don’t trust on Twitter. Even a user who you do trust could have been hacked, meaning they send out links without their knowledge. Always ensure you keep your mobile antivirus updated, just in case. 

If you do click one of these links, the consequences can be pretty bad. You’ll immediately lose your social credibility, which is bad enough, but you could also find that malware gets onto your phone, stealing your details, adding charges to your phone bill and more. 

Twitter is fun, but make sure you stay safe! 

VDH Virus Guide

Introduction to Virus Guide

At VDH we receive an awful lot of requests for help. This covers all sorts of areas, from setting up new computers to recovering deleted files. However, one issue crops up again and again for people in need of our expert assistance: computer virus prevention and cure.

It is for this reason that we’ve written the VDH Virus Guide, the first in a series of guides that we’ll be publishing to help tech users come to grips with their devices and avoid any pitfalls that come hand in hand with their usage.

The VDH Virus Guide will cover common issues, including:

  •          Rogue Antivirus
  •          iGoogle page redirection
  •          Facebook clickjacking
  •          QR Codes
  •          Digital currency
  •          Fake apps on Google Play
  •          Pharmacy discount sites
  •          Twitter spam
  •          Zero Access Virus

Each week, we’ll be posting new sections of the guide for you to refer to whenever you have problems with malware or viruses on your computer, so stay tuned.

If you have any additional questions, or areas you think we should cover, just let us know over on Twitter or Facebook. Thanks!

Twitter Tips for avoiding spam

We were delighted to be featured on Leader Post this week, with our article on protecting yourself from spam on Twitter.  Take a look:

Twitter continues to be a breeding ground for cybercriminals. Just this week a wave of twitter spam emerged which infected 500+ Twitter accounts in just hours, a media release from Virgin Group says. These tweets were designed to look like helpful links to check for viruses and spyware. Instead, victims were forced to install spyware that stole their personal data while hijacking their Twitter accounts to push more spam out to their followers.

Virgin Group’s new Virgin Digital Help service offers the following tips:

You account has been hijacked when:

1. Tweets you didn’t post appear on your profile;

2. There’s a drastic change in your number of followers;

3. You get an email from Twitter notifying you of account changes you didn’t make.

If you encounter any of the above:

1. Change your password;

2. Check the “Applications Tab” under your account settings and revoke any unrecognized third-party apps;

3. Delete any unauthorized tweets and scan your computer with a TRUSTED antivirus vendor (www.avgfree.com is a free option)

To defend against such attacks:

1. Don’t click on links in Tweets and DMs from people you don’t normally interact with;

2. If a link in a Tweet or DM is simply too irresistible (“Is this you in this photo?”), discard it;

3. Make sure your security software is up to date.

Virgin Digital Help comes to Pinterest!

                        

We’ve launched on Pinterest!  Those of you with your fingers firmly on the pulse of social media may be aware of a new social network called Pinterest.  This website allows users to take photographs from across the web and ‘pin’ them to boards, much like you would pin messages to a message board offline.  This concept has really taken off, and we decided we wanted to be a part of the fun. 

Therefore, we’re proud to announce Virgin Digital Help’s very own Pinterest account.  Here we will be pinning images on a daily basis that take our fancy, including what tech we cover, helpful hints and tips, as well as things from the wider world of tech that we think are worth sharing. We’ll also be posting each week’s blog to a board, so you can catch up with archived posts on everything from iPhone tips to keeping your computer virus free. 

We’re following all the major players in technology, such as CNet and Mashable in order to be able to bring you the hottest news and tech information. 

Are you on Pinterest? Follow us and we’ll be sure to follow back. If not, let us know via Facebook or Twitter and we’ll send an invite your way!

Xmas App: Instagram

You may have seen our recent post about Instagram, a popular photo sharing social network for iPhone users. With Christmas fast approaching we thought it time to give you a rundown of the hottest photography app for the iPhone (and now Android too) so you can capture your Christmas snaps in style!

Even though Instagram has only been around for little over a year, it has already amassed twenty seven million users and two versions.  

Instagram  uses camera company Lomography’s vision to ‘shoot from the hip’ and brings it to life online through social network features.   Instagram has taken popular elements of Facebook and Twitter to become a social experience. Your friends can like your pictures, comment on them and you can leave replies to individuals by mentioning their username . You can also hashtag your images around a certain theme. 

Instagram allows you to share your photos to other social networks, including Facebook and Twitter

One reason Instagram is so popular is its incredible versatility. At current count there are 15 different filters, ranging from “1977” and “Lomo-fi”, giving your images a range of effects from bold colorings to subtle highlights and overtones. It’s like having 15 different cameras in your pocket, which, let’s face it, wouldn’t be very comfortable. 

Instagram is so great because it’s very simple to use.  It’s part and parcel of a device users already own and use constantly. There’s no fiddly changing of your camera’s film, instead with Instagram you just point, shoot and then select the filter as you want it to appear over your photo. 

You can take photos within the app, or select from your photo gallery - allowing you to download photos from your digital camera and attach Instagram’s filters. 

To sign up, go to the app store and download onto your iPhone/Android and click ‘sign up’. Enter your details, and you’re away. From here, you can search for friends, or import them from Facebook and Twitter. Then, just explore! The “Popular” section is an excellent way to immerse yourself in the community and find people to follow. 

If you really start to develop the Instagram bug, the next place to visit is http://instagramers.comInstagramers is a worldwide community with over 220 fan groups across the world in many cities, so you’ll be sure to find a group in your own country. Instagramers regularly set creative challenges and competitions, keeping you occupied long after the initial excitement has worn off!

An introduction to Twitter

Here at Virgin Digital Help we are huge fans of Twitter and can usually be found at all hours of the day glued the screens of our computers and mobile phones checking our Twitter feed and monitoring for new updates.

For those of you who are not yet acquainted with Twitter we thought we would put together a very brief introductory post that will hopefully help to familiarise you with the service.

So from the top, what is Twitter?

Twitter is a popular social media channel and micro-blogging platform that allows users to send out updates to their friends, families, co-workers and even strangers in the space of 140 characters.

It was first created and launched in 2006 and during the past five years has gained an impressive 200 million users, which has roughly equated to 200 million tweets.

Twitter boasts some very famous celebrity fans, some of the household names that use the social networking site include Demi Moore, Stephen Fry, Lady Gaga and even Barack Obama!

The 140 character updates sent out over Twitter are often referred to as ‘tweets’, so the next time you hear someone talking about ‘tweeting’ know that they are taking about sending an update out via Twitter.

Why do people tweet?

Twitter is a platform for both sharing and listening to information. People use Twitter in very different ways, some people use Twitter to talk to their friends, some like to share their location or send out news updates and others like to share content such as images and videos.

It is now very common for brands and companies to have Twitter accounts as a way of communicating with their customers and updating them with relevant news. In fact Virgin Digital Help are now on Twitter and you can find us here: www.Twitter.com/virgindigihelp.

So now you know the basics why not drop by and send us a ‘tweet’?