Continue with all the different things going on today; we have noticed an increase in spam and scam emails. Not only on your computer, but now they are even on your cellphone.
Scammers use text messages or emails to trick you into giving them your personal information. There are many different things that you can do to protect your computer and your personal information.
Do you Recognize Phishing?
Text or email messages are used by scammers to trick you into giving them your information. Sometimes they take your personal information other times; it is the company you work for or with.
By just getting your account number, passwords, or Social Security number, the scammers can get your email, bank, or other account information. It makes you wonder how phishing attacks can launch thousands of attacks on a given day. It is found that the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center has reported that people have lost more than $57 million of schemes in one year.
You will find that most scammers are changing their ways to don't know that they are sending you scams. But if you follow some basic rules, you will find a phishing email or text message before it is too late.
You will find that sometimes these emails or texts come from companies that you know or trust.
Sometimes they come in looking like the credit card company, networking site, social media, bank, IRS, online payment website, apps, or even some of the online stores that you shop on. Some examples that come to mind are Amazon, eBay, Etsy, Facebook, and Bank of America, to name a few.
Most of the emails or text messages that are phishing tell a story to get you to click on a link or open an attachment.
Some of the most common ones that I can think of would be someone telling you that they see some suspicious activity or that you have tried to log in too many times.
Wanting you to confirm your personal or business information.
Claiming that your account information on your payment for an order or your mailing address is incorrect, and can you please contact them to update.
Some others would be a fake invoice, asking you to make a payment by clicking on a link, coupon for free items, or the government is offering you free money.
Protecting Yourself from these types of Attacks
One of the first steps to take is to make sure that you have the filters set for your email. So you should check the setting for the filters. Some people will put their filters to send them emails that only come from a group of email addresses. But as with anything else, the filters do not work all of the time.
Scammers are always looking for new ways to get around what filters that you have set up. Below you will find a few other ways that you can protect yourself.
You should set mobile phones to update automatically so that you don't need to worry about the chance of scammers.
One of the most important things you can do is make sure that your computer is backed up. Now you don't want this to be on the computer or our home network. I always recommend that you either store to an external hard drive, or one of the more common ways today is to store into the cloud. Now, remember this does not just go for your computer. It is for your other devices. (cellphone or tablets)
You can protect computers by using some form of antivirus software and malware. If you would like to read more about making sure your computer is protected. Please read our blog post-AntiVirus Software Importance.
One of the more common ways today is to use multi-factor authentication. One way this is done is to send you a text message when signing into a new app or program. It works well when logging into your computer for email. We are finding more devices that are using fingerprint, retina, or your face also.
Suspect a Scammer has sent you a Phishing Email
If an email or text comes in that you are not sure of, the first thing that you need to do is to ask yourself these questions:
Do I know this person or company?
Does the email address that is sending the email correct?
Something to remember to look at the whole email. An example that comes to mind would be if you received an email from email@example.com, this may not be from Netflix because if you notice the address the work Netflix is spelled wrong, it is not an org.
If you have answered YES to both of these questions, then you can continue to open. If they are asking for personal information, then I would suggest that you get the phone number and give them a call. Don't use a phone number that is in the email because if it is a scam, you will be calling them.
If you have answered NO then, you need not open the email or text and delete it.
If you make the mistake of opening a scam email
Now, if you have made a mistake and opened the scam email, don't panic. If you have given them some of your personal information, the first thing you want to do is contact your bank and let them know what happened so you will not be charged anything.
The next steps that you need to take are below:
Run your malware and antivirus software.
If you have logged into an account, you need to change the passwords.
If you have given any personal information, then I would report to IdentityTheft.gov.
Remember that you can always give a call to your tech support if you have done this on your work computer, or give us a call, and we can walk you through the steps you need to take.