If you use either Craigslist or Freecycle then you have probably seen or heard or even, unfortunately, become a victim of the latest malware, spyware and viruses that have become quite prevalent there lately. The local Charlotte Craigslist and Freecycle have recently even had numerous posts by the administrators and moderators of the sites addressing this recent rise in these negative activities.
It could be as innocent as a response to an ad that you post it on either of these two sites with a link to another site that they’re recommending you post your ad on also. All it takes is for you to click on that ad or link and you could immediately infect your computer with a virus or any of many versions of spyware or malware. Any of these bad and could not only slow down or seize up your system, but they could also erase your hard drive or even jeopardize your financial information.
The most rampant of these right now is the Google redirect virus. This innocently loads up in your computer in the background see you don’t even know it’s going on until you do a search on Google. Then you find that whenever you click on the results it takes you to either a porn website or a scam site where you are told that your computer has been infected with hundreds of viruses and that you need to purchase their anti-virus program to fix it. You never want to purchase any of these anti-virus programs in this way or manner.
The reason being is they are really trying to sell you anti-virus software instead they’re trying to obtain your financial information like your credit card number, expiration date, verification number, etc… if you purchase the antiviral software through one of these scam sites they will automatically have enough financial information to cause you some serious trouble or problems.
The best way to protect yourself from any of these viruses is to never click on a link that is sent to you through an e-mail. Also never click on a link in a post on Craigslist or Freecycle. The bigger the city that you live in the more rampant this spam where virus abuse of these sites is. For instance, just quickly glancing through the listings on Craigslist San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York City, Dallas, Chicago and Miami are numerous ads and posts that either take you to a Malware site which will automatically infect your computer with whatever Malware they’re using or the link takes you to a site that is a fake offshoot of a legitimate site.
This use of fake sites can make it hard for the average user to figure out if they’re using the actual companies website or not. It used to be that this only occurred with bank and financial institution websites. Hackers and other deviants have started digging deeper and been known to fake all kinds of popular business websites. They have found that by building outside of the financial sphere people are less apt to figure out that the site is a fake or be wary. To hackers this is pay dirt. To Craigslist and Freecycle users this can be your worst nightmare as anyone that knows someone that has suffered from identity theft knows that it can literally take years to clear up your financial records. This is not to mention the stress and frustration that goes along with identity theft.
Now you can also get viruses and Malware just from searching the web and click on websites and search results. This is why it is good standard practice to have a anti-virus program and a spyware removal tool. It is also good advice to have a registry cleaner and a good backup plan. If you are currently suffering from the Google redirect virus or some other piece of Malware be sure and read our article on removing the Google redirect virus and further protecting your computer and yourself from hackers on Craigslist, Freecycle and elsewhere.
This article was recommended by both the administrators and moderators of Craigslist and Freecycle to help people disinfect and protect their computer systems.