Sure, sure. You’re not old, or uneducated. Nor are you prone to gullibility. Nevertheless, web scammers make a living off outsmarting everyday people. Tech Guru CEO Dan Moshe explains the best ways to avoid being scammed by the evildoers of the internet.
BEWARE OF POP-UPS
If you ever see anything that pops-up and asks to install updates or suggests your computer is infected with a virus, it’s probably a scam. These scams are malware themselves that get installed on your computer and “hold you ransom” requiring you pay to have the malware removed. Some malware even display bogus FBI warnings. Whatever you do, do not consent to the scan and do not install the software.
UPDATE YOUR SOFTWARE
Keep your antivirus, operating system, web browsers, java, and flash plugins current. This will happen automatically, but don’t continually ignore the messages. You can get infected without even clicking on anything if your software is out of date.
AVOID DIRECT THREATS
Email, Twitter and Facebook messages indicating an embarrassing picture of you online or offering some other link: ignore these. They are fake. Don’t click on the link. If you do click on the link they often take you to a login page that is fake. Once you enter your information, you’ve given that information to hackers. The hackers will then take over your account and try to proliferate their virus or spam message. They will spam your friends from your account. Once this happens, alert your friends to the fact that that their account has been compromised. If your account has been compromised, change your password immediately. These tactics are pretty popular and I usually get one of these a week.
GOOGLE CHROME HELPS
Use Google Chrome as your web browser. Google Chrome utilizes minimal plug-ins and has security features that minimize exposures to internet risks. Google Chrome is available on almost every operating system and platform.
BE SUSPICIOUS OF ERROR MESSAGES
Be wary of certificate error messages, especially on sites that you know typically don’t have error messages. A certificate error may indicate that a website is pretending to be a website it is not.
LOOK FOR “HTTPS”
When submitting login information or payment card information on any site, there should be an “https:” in front of the URL, for example: https://www.facebook.com. That indicates information being sent to the server is encrypted in transit.
USE TRUSTED SITES
Download & install software only from known and trusted sources like the iTunes App Store.
If you do get infected, do not enter any credit card data and avoid using your computer. Once your computer has been compromised, it might be used as a bot to mass-mail your contact list and might even log all your keystrokes.
If you find yourself in an internet-scam pinch, you can always contact Tech Guru to help your organization get back on track as quickly as possible. As always, Tech Guru is here to help.
Dan Moshe helps business owners in the Minneapolis area with all things tech, and is the CEO of the Caring IT company Tech Guru. He cares about your business as much as you do!