Phishing. It’s not going away.
The impact is a billion-dollar business of people scamming money and data from unsuspecting people and businesses. There are so many ways scammers try to find ways in and no matter how much we talk about it, we still have local clients and people coming in to help remove viruses and malware from their machines, tablets and phones.
Phishing attempts are getting more complex and harder to spot, so it’s important for you to stay up to date. It’s a problem we see often and although it may be impossible to completely escape the emails, pop-ups, and links, there are quite a few ways you can avoid accidentally loading viruses and malware to your computer. We’ve gathered the list right here for you.
Protect your computers with security software.
This is the simplest and the most effective way to cut down on your spammy emails, pop-ups, and more. Contact us to talk about what is best for you or you can compare the best of 2021 according to CNET here.
Update Devices Regularly
All devices you own should be updated as soon as new updates are released. There are fixes in the new updates that close gaps that hackers find. Look at updates like security measures for your machine or device, not just optional new features.
Update the browser regularly
While many of our clients remember to update their devices, they may forget about the browsers they are surfing the web. This is important as well because browsers update their security all the time.
Use Multi-factor authentication when offered
Many online log-ins now offer a multi-factor authentication – meaning they require you to be sent a code or an additional check to ensure the person logging is indeed the right person. While many people want to opt-out of this additional step because they think it’s easier, these additional steps create much more safety than just a simple password. Opt for the extra step or you may regret it later.
Back up your data
People can’t hold your data for ransom if you have a backup. It’s that simple. Ensure you are using a backup system. Most phones will automatically backup to the cloud, but ensure all your devices regularly backup somewhere.
Test yourself on identifying phishing attacks
There are phishing tests to see how keen you are at picking out phishing emails and log-in pages. Here are just a couple we recommend you take and share with those in your household or workplace.
Quick tips on spotting a phishing attack
As a reminder, here are some of the main ways to pick out a phishing email. Be cautious if you come across any of these red flags:
- Is it asking for sensitive information?
- Is it written in broken or unprofessional English?
- Are they asking for your account information?
- Is it a different email address? Not one that the person sending usually uses or the wrong domain in the email?
- Are there attachments from someone you don’t know?
- Does the link point to a shortened URL or slightly different spelling than the usual domain?
These are all signs that you are looking at a phishing email, so use caution. The best thing to do is report and delete.
What you can do:
If you receive an email from a company you do business with and you question if the email is real, go to your browser and either go to your account by typing in the URL or searching for it in a search engine like Google. Log in to your account through there instead of clicking on a link. If the company was truly sending you an email, they would likely have a message in your account inbox there.
You can also see these other articles about phishing from us here:
If you have questions or need us to check your machines for viruses or malware, contact us.