Steckt.Evl – New Facebook Virus Spreading Through Chat! – It was only a matter of time before a virus started using one of Facebook’s common (and still free) resources: the private chat box.  Installed on your computer as Steckt.Evl, the virus first pops up in your chat box while you are scrolling through your Facebook news.

It looks like a link from one of your friends. As soon as you click the blue hyperlink of doom, the virus disables your anti-virus software, actually deleting the programs from your hard drive. Once your computer walls are down, the virus lets in other malware for an eventual computer apocalypse.

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Before your machine turns into just another pile of useless circuitry, your Facebook profile will send the link to all of the people on your friends’ list, thus creating a vicious cycle of mass computer infection.

So far, the only way to safeguard yourself is to not click on any random links that come your way. Anyone who sends you a link without a message of explanation should be immediately questioned about its contents. If it is just the virus trying to spread, you won’t get a response from your friend.

If this person really does want you to click on a legitimate link, chances are they will take a few moments to assuage your fears about it being malware.

This is not the first virus to make its way into the popular social networking site. There have been a number of Facebook malware issues surrounding fake invites, fake advertisements and bogus posts on walls.

A scam was usually pretty easy to spot. Someone who never had an inclination toward dieting was suddenly spouting sonnets about the benefits of a miracle diet pill. Now, because of the private messaging system, it will be more difficult to figure out what is genuine and what’s not.

Another common Facebook scam involves fake friend requests from ‘people’ who are famous or otherwise desirable. Clicking on these profiles wont’ always infect your computer, but it can result in your Facebook profile being hijacked.

Stolen profiles might not seem like they are a big issue, but a surprising number of people put all sorts of personal information on the Internet. All an identity thief needs to steal your reputation is your name and your birthday.

There is a small group of people out there—you know who you are—who think anti-virus software is really a money scheme. According to the theory, anti-virus companies make viruses so consumers are forced to purchase malware protection. Believers of this conspiracy theory run their computers without protection, relying on their skills to root out infectious agents.

In reality, regardless of who sends viruses, having proper protection for your machine is important. Not only are computers expensive to replace, the loss of your identity can cost you thousands of dollars and ruin your financial history.

If you want to borrow money for a home or for school, you’d better hope that what the bank see in the reports wasn’t caused by a hacker.

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