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5 archetypes and computer disasters

Here at SPAMfighter, we generally try to avoid making assumptions about the characteristics and qualities of our users. However, in order to make our software your best line of defense from spam, viruses and spyware, it’s in our best interest to not only identify who our users are but understand their behavioral patterns as well.  (Editor – It’s also fun to stereotype)

Since there are quite a few people downloading and using our software there is bound to be a lot of diversity amongst our user base. We have identified 5 archetypes, and for your reading pleasure, three of the most read news stories that describe common ways hackers, spammers and cyber criminals try to exploit their online activity.  Here are the 5 archetypes:

Kids

Kids often end up visiting strange websites with the promise of online games, puzzles and cartoons. Hey, kids like fun and we can only encourage them to explore the Internet universe because it is such a great place to learn. Unfortunately, many of these “fun” sites are likely to be infected with spyware. Kids will click just about anything that’s flashy or animated but are not aware of the the often malicious intent behind the ads. They quickly learn to google “online flash games” or “Phineas and ferb fun” and scammers react by polluting search engines with malicious sites.

What can you do? Teach your kid to recognize the difference between trusted and malicious sites, and see to it that your PC has proper anti spyware installed!

Most read news: 

Hackers Target Popular Childrens Website Neopets
Online Games Become Popular Target for Hackers Says G Data

Games Concealing Viruses Trojans

Nerds

We all know a nerd. They are cuddly, fun and great to know if we have a problem with our old trusty PC. But the nerd does not always follow best practices when it comes to PC security. Many nerds use illegal copies of software and Operating Systems, download movies and music from illegal p2p sites, use keygens, and for the most part, install a lot of crap which might mess up or slow a PC down. The nerd exposes him or herself to a lot of the dangers of infected files and…

What can you do? Beware of what the fella installs on your PC  and stay away from illegal software. (Editor – Don’t get “hooked up” with “free” software!)

Most read news:  

Rookit Contaminations Found on Windows XP
Kaspersky Labs Finds Bogus Keygen for its AVs
Zscaler Cautions About Rising Prevalence of Fake Movie Downloads

Teenagers

     

 

Teenagers scour the internet for the latest on Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga and other famous celebrities that are so important to them but so unimportant to the rest of us. Unfortunately, they may be landing on web sites that are infected with malware. How many of these celebrity sites are infected? A lot. Studies show that scammers deliberately seek to pollute search engine results by luring teenagers to infected sites with promises of “shocking” news, pictures, and free music.

What can you do? If you have a teenager at your home, PC security might not be the worst of your worries but do inform them to be on alert for such scams. 

Most read news:  

Identifies Jay Leno as the Most Perilous Popular Figure Online
Most Widespread Malicious Programs Spotted on Macs
Online Search for Presley Walker Pictures Results in Malware

 

The Elderly

Besides baking great cookies the elderly are actually very active on the Internet (Editor – Searching for cookie recipes that is – Hi Grandma!). Unfortunately, they use unpatched Operating Systems, old browsers, old javascript, old flash, and are not using sufficiently updated spyware software. What are the consequences for the old timers? Well, they are more likely to be victims of spyware or phishing scams that the rest of us clever individuals won’t fall for. On another note, the elderly might have an easier time getting off the hook when claiming fraudulent 900 # charges to the authorities.

What can you do? If you know someone that fits the profile then help them!  You may get cookies in exchange.

Most read news: 

Over 50 Enterprise Users Work with Expired Adobe Reader Versions Reports Zscaler
Malware Authors Benefit From Updates Not Being Installed
Exploit for Un-patched IE Vulnerability Now Part of Crimeware Kit

 

Social Media Junkies

     

Social media junkies monitor their social feeds religiously and make it their duty to let you know of each and every exciting detail that occurs throughout their day. The many contact points with other people on Facebook, Twitter, chat, Skype in conjunction with erratic clicking behavior make them vulnerable to infected sites and files. They’re also likely to be first movers or early adopters to new social media site like Google+ or new twitter-twot-tastic-what-ever services that no one has heard of and likely isn’t the most secure.

What can you do? Beware of what social media junkies are sharing with you and teach them to be aware of social media scams.  

Most read news: 

“Dislike” Button Scam Rapidly Propagating on Facebook
ESET Reports Malicious Programs Targeting Facebook Users
Anti Virus Software Disabled by Fake Codec Trojan

 

Final notes….

We guess that we all act like “kids” from time to time and might even forget to update our security software – an indicator that you might belong to the “the elderly” archetype. Hopefully you are not amongst the nerds using illegal software but we’re all guilty of acting like “teenagers” with our thirst for the latest gossip. Have we missed an archetype? Let us hear your voice.

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About Kim Falkner

VP Marketing for SPAMfighter with a passion for IT-security and blogging. Follow me on Google+ (+Kim Falkner) or LinkedIn (Kim Falkner on LinkedIn)
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6 Comments

  1. I really agree with this article! My children always spend a lot of their time playing educational games with their pc. And I always instruct them on what applications they are allowed to open and not. And I also put safety measures to ensure that they are browsing safely.

  2. Theo Magen says:

    I agree children should be alerted regarding such spams. Also that clicking on various links must be avoided on social networking sites. You can also run your system as a user, rather than an administrator, this prevents the spyware from accessing a lot of system files, preventing it from installing, or making it much easier to remove.

  3. TMK says:

    Great post. As a 6th archtype you could add “The invinicible”. The type of persons who are well aware of the risks, have heard stories from media, friends and family about their internet disaster, but live happily with the thought of being invincible themselves.

    Because since they haven’t been hit so far, they never will (at least that’s their idea until disaster strikes them).

  4. Dimitri Korsakov says:

    Kudos on the funny article. I remember roughly 5 years ago, my little brother came in with the announcement that he just won $50,000. After which I had to make him sad with the news that this was just an advertisement trying to scam him into installing spyware.

    If you ask me, this is exactly the kind of stuff kids need to be warned about. No one online is going to approach you to give you free stuff for no good reason, except for maybe a community site like a forum where you *specifically requested help*. But not through windows that randomly pop up and promise you the world!

    It’s kind of pathetic how these companies make uneducated kids agree to all sorts of terms of services etc. so they can basically do whatever they want with their computers… it should be punishable by law.

  5. Matt Rogen says:

    Nice article! From my experience whenever there are teenagers in the house every computer seems to get infected with spyware and malware. I think this is mainly due to them visiting sites that they shouldn’t!

    It’s the older people I feel sorry for as they are much more likely to get scammed online.

  6. moredr says:

    this is exactly the kind of stuff kids need to be warned about. No one online is going to approach you to give you free stuff for no good reason, except for maybe a community site like a forum where you *specifically requested help*. But not through windows that randomly pop up and promise you the world!

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