In a new PSA, Attorney General Brnovich is warning consumers to protect their personal information and be aware that hackers are using “pirate websites” to illegally distribute copyrighted content and infect computers. Dangerous malware can lead to identity theft and financial harm.
“It may sound like something out of a movie, but cybersecurity is one of the greatest threats facing consumers today,” said Attorney General Mark Brnovich. “Now more than ever, consumers need to think before they download anything off of the internet, especially from untrusted websites. It’s important for families to have conversations about the dangers of accessing websites with illegal media content."
A recent study found that 1 in 3 content theft websites exposed users to malware exploitable by criminals. Almost half of the malware was delivered via “drive-by” downloads, meaning an unintentional download of a virus that is delivered without the user even having to click on the link.
Downloading malware can lead to:
- Financial loss, including breaches to banking accounts or credit card information.
- Identity theft and loss of privacy.
- So-called ransomware, where access to a computer is frozen until the user pays a ransom fee to return access to their computer.
- Spyware downloads that grants hackers access to computer or cell phone cameras without the user’s knowledge.
The following tips can help you avoid compromising your computer:
- Avoid untrusted websites and only visit legal, secure, and legitimate websites.
- Install anti-virus programs and keep them updated.