Nobody wants to acknowledge it, but it’s true… Hackers are getting smarter and far more creative with the methods they use to try to acquire your trust, sensitive information, and money. The methods they now employ go far beyond their attempts to install malware on your computer or device. There is a growing trend toward mimicking legitimate companies and their websites to gain your confidence and entice you to reveal information you would never should to even a perceived “trusted” source.
Many recognize the Nigerian 419 e-mail scam as the beginning of the modern confidence game, playing on trust and promises of untold riches, even skeptical people fell victim to it in greater numbers than anyone could believe. Recently, a particularly nasty piece of malware called “CryptoLocker” encrypted infected users files and demanded a $300 to $1,000 payment to provide the decryption key, which many did out of fear and desperation.
Even the most guarded person can get infected or become a victim of fraud. Here are a few common sense tips which will help mitigate that possibility:
- ALWAYS be skeptical, if it looks too good to be true, 99.9% of the time IT IS…
- Read the tips in our “Why did I get malware even though I have AntiVirus?” blog post.
- Believe it or not, nobody out there is looking to give you a share of a multi-million dollar inheritance, especially not via e-mail.
- If anyone ever offers to buy your eBay or CraigsList item with a Bank or Cashier’s check and overpay you, requesting the some of the difference back, do not do this, it’s a scam. The check will bounce.
- If you receive a call from a seemingly legitimate company (Microsoft, HP, Dell) stating that they need to access your computer to update it, remove malware, etc., hang up, this is also a scam where they impersonate a legitimate company and download your sensitive information in the background.
- Again, always make sure you have a cloud-based, comprehensive, automatically updating AntiVirus / Malware security product like Symantec Cloud.
- When in doubt, contact a company that specializes in IT security, like TECHLINQ, and ask. Don’t be bashful, there are no dumb questions.
If you have any questions about these or any threats, or the security of your systems and network, feel free to give us a call. And remember, you can always check the current Symantec ThreatCon level on our website by going here: https://techlinq.com/services/techlinq-security/.