Curiosity Is Unwise When Malware Is Involved

Criminals who write malware generally rely on users not realising their intentions, and often go to elaborate lengths to make fake sites and software look legitimate. But there's a secondary group of users afflicted by malware: those who get told a site or application is dangerous but can't resist looking to find out just why it's dodgy.

Picture by supertruckergirly

Peter Baxter, VP for strategic technologies at AVG (one of our favourite security tools), highlighted the issue during a media tour of Australia last week. Apparently, one of the more common reasons for calls to its help centre are people who have been warned that a given site is dangerous but who decide to click on to find out just what is dodgy about it:

People click on risky stuff because they're curious. What's even worse is when they say "do I need to be worried about the fact I put my credit card into a site you guys had flagged?" Obviously, the answer is yes.

While you won't necessarily get infected if you're following good security practices, this definitely seems like a case where curiosity isn't worth it.

To avoid getting caught by dubious sites, check out our guide to protecting yourself against drive-by malware.

WATCH MORE: Tech News

Comments

    That's quite an upsetting image to use, maybe not for all but for cat lovers it is.

      i have 3 cats, and it doesnt bother me. it is just a cat with an injury.. i doubt that it is a dead cat.. and even if it is, it still shouldn't offend anyone.. cats die all the time.. why not photograph them so you can remember them?

        What an incredibly odd thing to say, Adam. Humans die all the time. How's about a photo of a murder victim? So we can remember them?

        Also, I have to agree with the original poster. If the picture must be there (I suppose it's relevant?) perhaps a little subtext:

        'by the way, folks, the kitty is fine... just a bite from a fight.'

    I find it amazing how stupid someone can be if they give out their information to a site they KNOW is dodgy. Seriously, what goes through their head when they think this is a good idea?

    There are other ways to be curious, safely: http://xkcd.com/350/

    It's my cat, her name is Munch and she's fine. I put the pic up back when that happened so family members who were asking what it looked like could see for themselves. She's fine and it healed without even scaring or leaving a hairless spot.

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