Internet users falling prey to ‘click-jacking’ schemes

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The Federal Trade Commission is warning consumers to be on the lookout for fake news stories plastered all over social media websites.

If you haven’t heard of click-jacking, you most likely will soon. With so much happening in the news from Ebola, to enterovirus, to the ISIS threat – our news feeds are loaded with links. However, your curiosity could be steering you down the wrong road.

Nothing piques our curiosity more than a good headline, but experts say to click at your own risk.

“By doing that, it puts you and your computer in danger,” said Claire Rosenzweig, president of the Better Business Bureau.

“Click baiting” or “click jacking” is the latest cyber threat that’s tricking Internet users into clicking a link that’s not what it seems.

“It’s hijacking your click. An example could be ‘see these nude photos that were hacked’ or ‘Robin Williams’ last words’ or it could even be ‘win a free iPad’,” said David Sendroff.

Sendroff, an Internet security expert, said you’ll never actually see any of those things. Instead, when you click, you open yourself up to identity theft, spyware, and more.

“They might instal malware, or they could steal the use of your computer,” Sendroff added.

Links are not the only thing to be wary of, though, since it could come in the form of an email, a text, or a website that rouses your curiosity, according to Rosenzweig.

In order to protect yourself, experts say you can start by using common sense and verifying the information on your own. Before clicking on a link make sure you’re dealing with a legitimate news agency, and most importantly – make sure your computer is protected.

“It’s very important to keep your browser up to date,” said Sendroff. “Out-of-date browsers are more susceptible to things like click-jacking.”

Also, be wary if any of your friends send you a link that says “check this out!” Chances are your friends have been victims of some sort of phishing scam.

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