Since the pandemic started there has been a noticeable increase in phishing emails, scams, and different types of fraud.
Recently phishing attacks look even more like they came from a specific company. This is called “spearfishing,” and hackers might pose as your bank, credit card company, or a site like Dropbox or PayPal. Generally, targets receive an email that looks as if it came from a legitimate business. You might be prompted to click on a link to “verify account details” and from there, malware is installed on your device.
Where you once had to download a file or an app to get malware, it’s now a matter of clicking a link. These kind of fileless attacks are also more difficult to detect, as most antivirus programs only scan your hard drive.
Here are some examples of emails you may receive:
What to Do if you receive one of these emails
- Never click a link in an email that comes from a bank, government agency, or commercial institution. If the link comes from a company, check your account by going directly to the website by typing the URL into the navigation bar manually.
- Check at least once a week for updates for your computer’s security software, and run scans several times a week. I personally have used Webroot for the last 8 years – it runs in the background and automatically scans for viruses. I have been very happy with it. Also Malwarebytes is a great program that removes malware and spyware.
- If you get an unsolicited call from someone who claims to be a tech support provider for your computer or software – hang up!
- If you get any warning message on your computer – read it carefully. Bad grammar or misspelled words are telltale signs of a false warning.
- If you get a fake virus alert message – just shut down your browser. You can do this on a Windows PC by pressing Control-Alt-Delete and bringing up the Task Manager. On a Mac, press the Option, Command, and Esc (Escape) keys, or use the Force Quit command from the Apple menu.
- Never allow someone who calls you out of the blue to access your computer remotely.
- Never rely on caller ID to determine if a caller is on the level. Scammers can make it appear as if they’re calling from a legitimate number.
- Never give your computer username or any account passwords to someone over the phone.
- Never provide financial information to someone who calls a few days, weeks or months after you've made a tech support purchase and asks if you were satisfied — it's probably a “refund scam.” If you say “No,” the caller will ask for bank or credit card information, ostensibly to deposit a refund in your account but actually to steal from you.
The majority of the content used for this blog post was taken from a great email newsletter sent out a while back from H-Built Computers here in Sarasota. Sadly, the owner closed the business this last year to pursue his passion for video production. I really miss those guys, they built 3 different computers for me over the years and did all my IT work. They were the go-to guys I trusted my computer to when there was a problem. Heath – I hope you don’t mind me “borrowing” your newsletter content, but it was some great advice I wanted to pass along.
If you need Video Production or Graphic design and you are in the Sarasota Fl or Johnson City TN area – check out Rocket Booster. They also do Digital Marketing, SEO, Social Media Marketing and Web Development (I don’t mind giving them a plug – I know they do great work). Also check out Heath Jordan’s site.