Well I was sitting in front of the computer trying to decide what to write for my first post. Maybe I should talk about Spring Break – that’s topical. Families have kids either on Spring Break right now or they just had it.
Then one of my teenage sons came downstairs. “Mom, I need you to look at something.” He looked nervous and worried. He showed me a message that was locked on his iPhone after he downloaded a video off Google. It was a frightening message alluding to him having committed a crime and that he needed to buy something called a OneVanilla prepaid card and load it with $500 or all the stored material on his phone would be wiped clean in 24 hours.
What?!! My son had just become a victim of not only malware, but ransom ware!
Well now, this was something new! My husband and I looked up some information on the web and determined that this was spam ransom ware that had happened to others. One site advised victims to alert the authorities. We called our local police department and they let us know that the spammers probably couldn’t really do anything to our son’s phone and to call Apple to figure out how to unlock it. After being on hold for over 15 minutes, a very friendly Apple rep was able to walk us through the process of unlocking the phone.
This was a scary lesson. We used it to talk to both our sons, once again, about the danger of going onto dubious websites or downloading info from an unknown source. We also discussed the fact that ANYTHING you do digitally is out there and there is no way to completely get rid of it. You can delete things, you can clear your history on your device, but that information can still be brought up and found by someone.
Has anyone had a similar experience or any words of advice regarding keeping your digital devices safe?