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Email & Internet Safety Tips

Internet

Malicious websites often present themselves as popular legitimate sites. Some things to look for that might give an indication that it is not legitimate are:

  • Check if logos seem distorted or if the color scheme is not what you are normally used to seeing.
  • Web links on social media pages are easy ways to be directed to malicious sites, be cautious when clicking!
  • Secure sites have HTTPS in the address bar, this is critical for websites that take credit card payments so look to make sure any financial sites have https: in the beginning of the address of the site.
  • Suspicious sites frequently have spelling or grammatical errors.

Social Media

Social media websites are a hot bed for viruses. Cyber attackers go to the most popular websites like Facebook and Twitter and attempt to exploit users. Links found in newsfeeds can open viruses when clicked. Once infected they attempt to capture usernames and passwords to financial websites! For these reasons, it’s best to just not use company computers for personal use to keep your business network safe.

Emails

Email viruses and phishing scams via Email have caused the most damage when it comes to infecting computers and destroying files. Once infected, they may have access to your account and the ability to do things like email everyone in your contact list and attempt to infect their computers. Users will often receive emails from names of known associates, however it’s actually a cyber-criminal posing as that associate. It is important that end users understand this concept and are aware of phishing scam tactics. You should never open an email attachment unless you know who the sender is AND you are expecting it! For more info on Phishing / Email viruses you can visit these websites, or give us a call:

Passwords

One of the easiest ways for hackers to access and steal data or cause harm is to search for systems that have weak passwords. Always use a complex password using numbers, special characters and lower/upper case, and change it frequently. Or, where permitted, use a passphrase password with multiple random words and include special characters. Hackers count on users not adhering to these recommendations, so if your password is.. password or 123456 or your kid’s birthday, you are exactly what they are looking for!

Malicious Software Explained

Virus

The main purpose of a virus is to disable or make your computer so slow its unusable, or destroy data. They are typically attached to an executable file, PDF or Word document through emails. They also come from infected websites. Again, just don’t open a file unless you are expecting it and know who the sender is.

Spyware

The main goal of Spyware is to capture information about a person without their knowledge or consent. It can monitor internet surfing habits, user credentials and bank / credit card information and is combined with Adware to target you with advertisements.

Adware

Adware is a type of program that, when installed on your computer, will display unwanted advertisements. It also collects marketing information so that it can then redirect online browsing to target purchases. Adware usually sneaks its way onto your computer when users download and install free programs from the internet. It can also get installed on your computer when visiting an infected website.

Phishing

Phishing is a technique of Cyber Criminals. It’s how they attempt to gain access to your personal or company’s information. They send you an email posing as your bank, vendors or others asking for credentials via attachments or weblinks – some might even pose as your Company CEO asking for invoices to be paid, wire transfers, purchase of gift cards etc. If you are not expecting an email that is asking for information, be suspicious!

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