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Question: What exactly is the harm to user/computer of clicking a false pop-up?

Whether it is the 'fake virus' popup window and instructions not even to click the X for closing it,

or the false iCloud popup window which asks for one's password and if one closes it keeps popping

up on the next entry into the computer......


Please, what is the actual harm that is done to the person involved and to the MacOS or iOS,

through these malicious intrusions? What is the malice they achieve and how?

MacBook Air (13-inch Mid 2013), OS X Yosemite (10.10.5), Memory4GB1600MHz,Processor1.3GHz

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Answer:

It's all just software. It is not going to harm the machine. In some cases, there could be attempts to steal passwords.


This is is a good question because it really gets to the big disconnect on security that people don't understand. They will spend money on security scamware. They will load their machine up with 2 or 3 different legitimate, but ineffective, antivirus products. They are genuinely worried about their computer being vulnerable to hackers.


But the computer itself has been practically invulnerable since the day they first turned it on. It is the human that is vulnerable. People who do all of that in a vain effort to protect their computer are showing themselves to be even more vulnerable to social, rather than technological, hacks.


Generally, interacting with those scams, or even having been on the kind of website that is going to host them, is setting the user up for future scam attempts. The scammers will collect IP addresses and web tracking tokens, building a database of potential targets. It is the same "big data" that "legitimate" companies use to find potential customers. It is very effective.

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Mar 3, 2018 8:20 PM in response to allan299 In response to allan299

Hello allan299,

Usually it is some kind of financial scam. Many people aren't tech savvy and will call the number provided. From there, they will purchase some kind of "cleaning" or "protection" for anywhere from $30-$500. Running these kinds of scams takes an awful lot of money. They wouldn't do it unless it were awfully profitable.

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Question marked as Helpful

Mar 3, 2018 8:20 PM in response to allan299 In response to allan299

Hello allan299,

Usually it is some kind of financial scam. Many people aren't tech savvy and will call the number provided. From there, they will purchase some kind of "cleaning" or "protection" for anywhere from $30-$500. Running these kinds of scams takes an awful lot of money. They wouldn't do it unless it were awfully profitable.

Mar 3, 2018 8:20 PM

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Mar 3, 2018 8:20 PM in response to etresoft In response to etresoft

And to the computer itself, is there harm done that one might not

be aware of?


The idea that this might be so and one might not even be aware of it,

nor what the harm actually is, I find confusing and frustrating -- spooky

and creepy.

Mar 3, 2018 8:20 PM

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Question marked as Solved

Mar 4, 2018 7:02 AM in response to allan299 In response to allan299

It's all just software. It is not going to harm the machine. In some cases, there could be attempts to steal passwords.


This is is a good question because it really gets to the big disconnect on security that people don't understand. They will spend money on security scamware. They will load their machine up with 2 or 3 different legitimate, but ineffective, antivirus products. They are genuinely worried about their computer being vulnerable to hackers.


But the computer itself has been practically invulnerable since the day they first turned it on. It is the human that is vulnerable. People who do all of that in a vain effort to protect their computer are showing themselves to be even more vulnerable to social, rather than technological, hacks.


Generally, interacting with those scams, or even having been on the kind of website that is going to host them, is setting the user up for future scam attempts. The scammers will collect IP addresses and web tracking tokens, building a database of potential targets. It is the same "big data" that "legitimate" companies use to find potential customers. It is very effective.

Mar 4, 2018 7:02 AM

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User profile for user: allan299

Question: What exactly is the harm to user/computer of clicking a false pop-up?