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The smiley face emoji has a “dark side,” researchers have found
The ever-changing and dynamic of technology and the usage with the smartphone’s in our lives, The usage of emoji are getting more popularity day by day, this tool is a boon for the cyber-scammers, hackers and various shady digital companies which are minting money and taking advantage of it. These hacker aim people who are obsessed with emoji’s, for them there are an easy target and get can quickly trap and expose your private data.
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According to Markuson, if some website or application is offering you emoji keyboard for free, it typically means a trap, the aim of the cyber developers behind it is to count on a data-driven business model. How does this work? It means that everything you type on your device, be it a computer or a smartphone, will be continuously tracked and later sold for the monetary benefit for advertising or other third-party companies. This may seem like not much of a problem, but it becomes an issue if those companies are hacked because of their poor cybersecurity. Then your data might be exposed much more than you would like.
Be careful not only with the usual emoji’s but with various custom keyboards as well - those allow users not only to add an emoji keyboard but to create personalized avatars as well. Again, if the virtual emoji keyboard is free and you have never heard about its publisher - don’t trust it. Better check your official app store and choose something there.
“There are way too many cases when free emoji keyboards spread viruses or other malicious content. So if you would like to use one, at the very least choose one from the official app stores”, Markuson suggests. “Viruses and malware usually slow down your computer as they mess around with everything - from pushing ads or phishing sites to hijacking your browser. So if this happens after you install an emoji keyboard - remove it and run a malware scan right away.”
Emoji have become a digital attraction
Trying to target the younger generation more into this trap, there is another way how cybercriminals use the cute emotion pictures and turn it into an emoji malware scam. In this digital era, emoji’s have become the bait of the cyber hackers, especially when various studies show that emails and newsletters with emoji’s in the subject line are opened 66% more frequently. If that works for pesky marketers, why not use it for malware scam campaigns?
“Such scammy emails often contain deals that are too good to be true. However, the smiling emoji winking at you at the end of the sentence has a way to convince us that this is a real thing sent by a friendly person,” says Daniel Markuson, NordVPN Digital Privacy Expert. “You open the email, press the link and get that malware into your computer. Those adorable emoji may lead to serious headaches."
On the final note, most of us chat with friends and send zillions of emoji’s to kill some time of our daily commute, while waiting for a bus or metro. However, if you or your friends are too much into emoji’s, you might need a VPN (virtual private network). It will encrypt your internet data and protect your identity and personal information from hackers or identity.
Suggestions and Solution
If you suspect that your computer has been hijacked by such infectious emoji’s, we would like to advise you to shut it down immediately.
Install our free malware tool and do a full system scan with your antivirus software, which should be able to remove the hijacker software.
After the scan is done and the hijacker is wholly removed, perform a reinstall of your browser software so to erase any changes that the hijacker has made.
It is advisable to go through the terms and condition before installing any new application, and if you fell it is time taking, then install the freeware opt for “custom and automatic installation,” it is always recommended that you go with this option as this would close the other unwanted programs that might get installed along with it . Here we would like to recommend the best antivirus ITL to take care of all these issues and protect your computer.