Scammers are at it again, and this time they’re coming for your computer’s processing power to mine digital currency more efficiently. Cryptojacking is the new, very secretive way that scammers are stealing money, using your computer to mask their activity, without the need to even install background programs on your device. Using malicious code embedded in a website or ad, scammers can access your device’s processor without you even knowing it. With access to your processor, they can wait until the middle of the night or after business hours and use your device’s processing power to mine cryptocurrency, which can be converted directly into cash.
What can you do to avoid cryptojacking from happening to you or your employees’ computers?
- As always with any virus or scam, use anti-virus software, set software apps to update automatically, don’t click on links or popups you don’t know or trust, and never install anything on your computer you are unsure of.
- Look for apps or sites that appear to be draining your power. If you notice a slowdown in your devices performance, try closing questionable sites or apps.
- Use ad blockers and browser extensions to help prevent cryptojacking. Some apps will even specifically defend against cryptojacking. Make sure to read reviews and do your research before downloading anything on your computer that may not be legitimate.
It can be hard to identify cryptojacking activity on a computer, but a clear sign that something is wrong is if you experience slower than normal performance on your computer or other mobile device.
If you are concerned your computer might be compromised, run a full virus scan on your computer or if it’s a work computer contact your IT department.
Astera Credit Union wants to make sure you stay protected. To keep up-to-date with current scams visit our security page and be on the lookout for our quarterly Security Spotlight newsletter which provides tips to help prevent becoming a victim scammers. For more information on cryptojacking click here.