Scams! Viruses! Spoofing! Oh My!
It’s seems like every day there’s a new attack hitting computers as con artists try to get your money, your personal information and your contacts.
METHODS OF ATTACK
SCAMS OR SCAREWARE: Schemes to con you out of money. These often come as a popup on your computer with a warning that you must call the following phone number or you’ll lose all your data. It may appear to be from Microsoft. More on how to handle scareware.
- Never call the phone number on a screen warning that you’ll lose data if you don’t call.
- Don’t let someone you don’t know take control of your computer.
SPOOFING and PHISHING: Email that appears to have come from someone or some company you know. As recently reported in the media, an email that purports to be from a reputable company like Netflix or Google tries to induce you to reveal personal information, such as social security number or passwords. The fake email may also look like it’s from a friend with a very brief vague note to “click here.” When you do, it gets into your address books and resends the same email to all your contacts. Before you click, call your friend and ask if they sent you a link.
- Never click on a link from someone you don’t know.
- Never type in your social security or credit card number online without verifying with the company first.
VIRUSES: Malicious software that infects your computer and alters the way it operates. They are designed to spread from one computer to another. You never know what site will drop a virus on your computer that deletes or corrupts files.
- Keep your virus definitions updated. Open up your virus protection software like Norton, McAfee, Kaspersky or Microsoft Defender and make sure it’s automatically updating definitions. You want your virus protection software to know what new viruses are out there.
- We still recommend Malwarebytes as an additional layer of protection. It’s free for Mac and PCs.
- Click the PC or Mac link below. Then click the Free Download button. The software will download to your Downloads folder. Double-click to install.
- Once installed, double-click the icon for Malwarebytes and scan your computer for issues. Malwarebytes will quarantine any problems.