Apparently, it’s impossible to watch TV these days without also being online and tweeting and posting and generally letting everyone you’ve ever known be aware of what you’re doing, so it makes sense that during the Super Bowl, when ostensibly everyone is watching TV, Internet-related activity also increases. Here’s where cybercriminals rub their collective hands together in glee.
All those clever ads will likely do the trick, sending consumers online to check out the products they’re seeing on TV. Some will just be online to gab on Facebook or email pals, or look up stats.
Time‘s Techland reports on the nefarious dealings of cybercriminals, citing PC Tools senior online manager Eric Klein. He says it’s pretty simple: The more people online, the bigger the pool of people trick with Super Bowl related scams.
“The sheer volume of (online activity) is so huge it spikes around the game the same way that TV viewers do,” he explained. “It’s not necessarily a new threat that isn’t out there normally, but cyber criminals know that there will be more people online so many more criminals will be taking to the Internet.”
Tricks to watch out for include the “drive-by attack,” wherein a link is posted in the comments of a story leading you somewhere else, often asking for personal information in order to reach more Super Bowl-related content. Another way criminals dupe unsuspecting users is placing ads on sports websites that link to malware, using pretty cheerleaders or an offer for free game streaming.
Avoid any fishy-looking links and make sure your anti-virus software is up to date. And (duh), don’t give anyone your personal information.