Viruses are harmful computer programs that can be transmitted in a
number of ways. Although they differ in many ways, all are designed to
spread from one computer to another through the Internet and cause havoc.
Most commonly, they are designed to give the criminals who create them
some sort of access to those infected computers.
Botnets are networks of computers infected by malware (computer virus,
key loggers and other malicious software) and controlled remotely by
criminals, usually for financial gain or to launch attacks on website or
If your computer is infected with botnet malware, it
communicates and receives instructions about what it’s supposed to do
from “command and control” computers located anywhere around the globe.
What your computer does depends on what the cybercriminals are trying to
Many botnets are designed to harvest data, such as
passwords, social security numbers, credit card numbers, addresses,
telephone numbers, and other personal information. The data is then used
for nefarious purposes, such as identity theft, credit card fraud,
spamming (sending junk email), website attacks, and malware
deterent for a Vishing Attack is to NEVER disclose personal information
to a telephone contact not initiated by you.
- They can download themselves onto your computer without your
permission (typically when you visit an unsafe website or via an
- They can make your computer do things you don't want it to do.
That might be as simple as opening an advertisement you didn't want
to see. In the worst cases, spyware can track your online movements,
steal your passwords and compromise your accounts.DO NOT click on links you receive from a third-party asking for
personal information or account numbers. To access the legitimate web
site, you should type the web site name, URL address into the web
browser or by using a "bookmark." (example: http://www.ffsmid.com)
This information highlights examples of safety precautions you can
consider to protect yourself, your family, and your property. This list
is not meant to be all-inclusive. Moreover, a particular precaution may
not be effective or appropriate in all circumstances. We encourage you
to use your own good judgment about what's appropriate.