Can I be­lieve this er­ror?

Mac Format - - MAC SOS -

Re­cently, I typed in a wrong ad­dress and was taken to a strange web­site. Sud­denly a mes­sage flashed up on the screen, my MacBook chimed, and a mes­sage popped up that said: “Do not shut down this com­puter. Do not make any pur­chases. Call toll free num­ber”. I con­tacted my bank, which said it would check for pos­si­ble fraud, but I am scared to use my credit card now. Danil Dy­achenko

This is a phish­ing at­tempt. Phish­ing is when crim­i­nals at­tempt to trick you into giv­ing away per­sonal in­for­ma­tion, such as bank ac­count de­tails and pass­words. In this case they are try­ing to scare you into think­ing that you have al­ready been hacked, so that they can go ahead and hack you. Of­ten, crim­i­nals will reg­is­ter do­main names that are sim­ple ty­pos of le­git­i­mate pop­u­lar sites and wait for un­sus­pect­ing users to visit by accident. The mes­sages are hoaxes, but the links on the web page may try to down­load mal­ware if you click them. This is un­likely to work against a Mac, since al­most all of this sort of mal­ware tar­gets Win­dows, not OS X, but call­ing the num­ber is definitely a bad idea.

To dis­miss a per­sis­tent mes­sage, force Sa­fari to quit (press å+ç+oe, se­lect Sa­fari and then click Force Quit). Other than that, there is no need to worry. Phish­ing sites rely on spook­ing you into act­ing rashly, but they are mostly just blus­ter.

En­ter a web ad­dress at phish­tank.com to de­ter­mine whether it’s a well-known phish­ing site.

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