Warning: Beware fake Adobe Acrobat & Reader updates


It seems to be getting more and more common that Adobe Reader (previously known as Acrobat Reader) is the target for phishing scams and malware. Today I got another email pretending to be from Adobe alerting me of new updates to Reader.

image

This can easily lure the reader into clicking before reading the message properly. There are a few thing that should ring alarm bells to someone who works with computers e.g.

  • Adobe only release updates from their own site not the one listed in the email
  • The new versions are called Adobe Reader X and Acrobat X not Acrobat 2011
  • It is sent from a newsletter that I haven’t subscribed to.

Read more to find tips and info on the real Adobe updates

Tips

However, these aren’t so easily spotted by the casual internet user or office worker. It’s worth spending a bit of time educating your friends, family, co-workers about this kind of threat. Most people like using the latest, greatest next big thing so it is is to act first and think later when a juicy upgrade is dangled in front of you. A few tips regarding getting the latest software are

  • Only download updates from the official company website
    • You can find this from the “Help” menu or “About” screen in the software
  • Most modern software is self-updating or will at least have a “Check for Updates” option on the menu somewhere
  • Never click a link in an email, you could be clicking text saying marshmallow.com but it really takes you to stay-puft-scam.com. Instead type the address into a browser address bar

PDF Readers

imageThe new version of Reader, Adobe Reader X, is available for free at http://www.adobe.com/products/reader.html. It is actually quite a nice improvement of versions 9 and below so I think it’s definitely worth the upgrade. I especially like the new Reader View when you open a PDF in the browser. You may also want to check out a few excellent lightweight alternatives Sumatra PDF, Foxit Reaer and also, for Google Chrome users, the Google Docs PDF/PowerPoint Viewer extension. If you want to create your own PDFs I recommend the excellent (and free) PDF Creator.

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