Archive for Security – Page 3

How to spot a Tech Scam

avoiding computer scammers

If your computer had a virus, you’d want to know about it ASAP, right?

Before your important files become corrupted, you lose your photos and your digital life is essentially destroyed. Even thinking about it is terrifying.

Tech scammers know we’d be lost without our computers, and that we don’t always know what’s going on behind the screen – which is why they’ve been able to swindle millions from every day people across the world.

The scam goes like this:-

You receive a random phone call from someone with a heavy accent  saying they’re from Microsoft, Talk Talk, BT or some other well-known company, or an alarming pop-up appears on the screen, saying it looks like your system has been infected with a virus.

The real Microsoft will never randomly call people like this. Ever.

To fix the problem, they need to you to download some support software, which they’ll give you a special link for.

A technician then uses that software to gain access to your system and make it appear your system is riddled with viruses. Flashing screens, mysterious diagnostics whizzing by, fabricated errors…they’ll do or say anything to make you panic. They’ll even go as far as claiming your system has been infected with illegal content and if not corrected, you’ll face criminal charges.

Demands for credit card information follow immediately after. Once paid, they simply stop fiddling with your system to make it seem the problem is fixed. To continue the scam, they’ll soon access your system to recreate the problem, this time offering a subscription for ongoing protection.

What To Do If You’re Targeted By A Tech Scam

  1. Don’t taunt them. Just hang up. Right now you’re only a phone number in their system and they’ll move onto the next – if you give them cause to target you personally, you may find yourself in a worse situation.
  1. If a pop-up appears, immediately run an anti-virus scan. Don’t click the pop-up or call the number.

What To Do If You’ve Already Been Scammed

It’s okay. It feels horrible, but you’re not alone and the situation can be corrected.

Call your financial institution and have the charges reversed and your card reissued. It’s easier than you might think and helps the authorities locate the scammers.

Then give us a call on 01455 209505 and we’ll make sure they no longer have access to your computer.

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How To Protect Your Children While They’re Online

Secure your children when on the internet

Waking early to sneak in a couple hours of Minecraft, Roblox, YouTube or Xbox…grabbing their ‘educational’ iPad and Facetiming a friend…sending emails and texts…the world is their oyster.

Not just the younger children, but teenagers too.

To be honest, as an adult, we really have no idea what’s cool or what they’ve been introduced to at school. All we know is that they’re going to using their devices and we won’t be able to watch them every second of the day. Plus of course, no matter how many Cyber-Safety talks they’ve had, how many times they can parrot the rules back, they’re children and they don’t always stop to think.

• They don’t realize certain search terms might not be such a great idea
• They trust they are messaging other children
• And they would rather not limit themselves to 2 hours per day

Protect your Children with Parental Control Software

A Parental Control Software (PCS) package is essentially an internet filter for children. It takes all the inappropriate things online and blocks your child from accessing them, seeing them or even knowing they exist.

Adults can override and disable the software easily, so their own experience is unchanged and unmonitored.

As an added bonus, Parental Control Software can also be used to put time limits on internet usage, or even log all online activity. While you may not feel the need to review the logs on a daily basis, they can be vital in identifying cyber bullying, sexting, or inappropriate relationships.

The best time to install Parental Control Software is now, before your children become comfortable with unrestricted access, and before they see things they shouldn’t.

Give us a call to set your computer up with Parental Control Software today.

 

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Think before you click

avoiding computer scammers

A common way of getting a computer infection is by what is called a ‘Phishing’ email – that is an email pretending to be from a trustworthy source.

Quickly spot the red flags and put phishing emails where they belong:-

1. Poor spelling and grammar

While occasional spelling mistakes happen to even the best of us, errors throughout the entire message should be a warning sign.

2. An offer too good to be true?

Free items or a lottery win sound great, but when the offer comes out of nowhere – there’s definitely cause for concern. Do not to get carried away or click without investigating.

3. Random sender

Phishing has advanced in recent years to include an email or offer designed especially for you or your business. Details from public news, such as a recent function or award, or social media can be used against you. If the sender is unknown and you do not know them in any way, be careful.

4. The website or email address is not quite right

One of the most effective techniques used in phishing emails is to use addresses which sound almost right. For example, [microsoft.info.com] or [pay-pal.com].
Hover over the link with your mouse – if it doesn’t look right, or is completely different from the link text, send that email to the bin.

5. Personal, financial or business details

Alarm bells should ring when any message contains a request for personal, business or financial information, especially passwords.

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Got a bad case of overused password?

Do not duplicate passwords

You’re not alone! Most people use the same password everywhere – home, work, Gmail, Facebook… even for banking. Considering how many passwords we’re expected to remember and use on a daily basis, password exhaustion is a very real thing. It’s no wonder that when yet another prompt for a password appears, users enter easily guessed combinations like ‘abcd’ or ‘password’.

Trouble is, even if your password is making the required effort, hackers are taking a daily stroll around the internet and collecting logins and passwords as they go, from either leaked details or sites with security flaws.

Then, they’ll try their luck with that login/password set elsewhere. They know more than half the internet users in the world have only one password and email combination, so the chance of gaining access to your accounts is actually quite high. Even the big names in tech are at risk of password breaches:

360 million MySpace emails and passwords leaked. 117 million LinkedIn account details leaked.

Same password used elsewhere? Cue the domino effect! One site breach follows another and another until hackers have nothing more to gain. The only way to break this chain reaction is to use a different password for each site.

How to Create Easily Remembered Passwords

Have a system or template for creating your own unique passwords, that you’ll be able to remember, but is not obvious to hackers. For example: !K1ttyFB75!

It might seem complicated, but the above is really just based around the words ‘kitty’ and ‘FB’ for Facebook. Change the FB to something else for other sites.

What to Do If Your Password Has Been Hacked

Immediately change all passwords with all online accounts – particularly banking. It also goes without saying that if you believe that you have been hacked, you need to inform your bank/credit card provider as soon as possible.

If you need help changing your passwords or setting up a secure password system, let us know on 01455 209505 and we’ll be more than happy to help you.

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