Cyber crooks are targeting popular gaming sites. Experts say they're hoping to deceive your kids when they are in chat rooms. Cyber expert Patrick Siewert says online games can be fun and entertaining, but warns fun can quickly turn into cyber trouble.
He says crooks are targeting popular sites, like Steam, with a malware. Your child could become a victim when they enter the site's chat room. Crooks are using enticing messages like, "OMG you have to see this picture, click here." If they click, it's game over; a virus is installed and their computer is compromised.
"The account is linked to a credit card and they could start trying to access that credit card information or just downloading games fraudulently on a credit card account," he explained.
Steam never responded to a request for comment, but it did have a warning on its site. The company has a security section with safety tips and warns users to never click links from untrusted sources.
"A lot of kids are using it and it is mostly geared towards teenagers and children, so I think it is important that parents know that this vulnerability is there," Siewert said.
His son uses the Steam site and has seen the malicious links in the chat room. Parents, here's the frightening part: If your child has clicked the fraudulent links, there is no way to tell and crooks could be working in the background. If you suspect you're a victim, you do have options.
"I would probably do a full system restore to an earlier point before you clicked on that link," Siewert explained.
Cyber crooks are always on the prowl. Parents need to take the time to talk with kids about computer safety.
"They are always trying to find new targets and once they find a new target, they can exploit, they will ride with as long as they can until it gets shut off," said Siewert.
A reminder, never let your guard down, crooks can pop up anywhere.