The safety of our client's personal information is of primary importance to us. Clients often ask us what can they do to prevent attacks on their personal information. By following these best practices, you should be able to keep your identity safe!
Phishing attacks are the most common type of cyber-attacks because of how effective they are. Hackers are creative when they target you, and it can be very difficult to tell if a message is real or fake. Remember that many phishing attacks use fear tactics that cause you to react quickly.
For example, a “Microsoft” pop up box appears on your screen stating that your system has been compromised and your information has been leaked. In that moment of panic, you see the phone number provided and call for help. The person on the other end tells you they can fix the problem if you allow them access to your computer remotely. As they are “repairing” your system, they request a credit card number for their services. At the very moment that you are feeling relief, you are actually speaking with the criminals.
This is just one example of a phishing attack, they are usually delivered by email links, pop ups, text messages, or social media. Once the virus is in your system, it can capture every keystroke typed, giving access to usernames, passwords, and other sensitive information.
How to avoid a Phishing attack:
1. Be careful what you share.
2. Do not share information through a link or a pop up.
3. Do not call any phone numbers that are sent through a pop up or link. Only use the contact information from a company’s official website.
4. Stop, look, and think before you click that link, open that attachment, or share sensitive information.
5. Never give information over the phone, in person, or online unless you’ve confirmed the identity of the person asking. You can do this by calling the person back using a verified phone number from the organization’s phone directory or main website
6. Never connect to public Wi-Fi unless you are using an organization approved VPN or Virtual Private Network. This technology creates a safe internet connection that shields your online activity from criminals.
7. Only download apps from official App Stores, such as Apple or the Android Play Store.
8. Beware of anything that forces you to log in to unrelated services, such as entering banking credentials to receive a package.
9. Beware of unsolicited texts using high pressure tactics that introduce urgency, such as closing accounts or transferring funds. When in doubt, go to the full website of the company and check notifications for your accounts there.
What to do if your computer has been compromised:
If you believe that your computer has been compromised, it should be disconnected from the internet immediately.
1. Unplug the internet cable from computer and turn your wireless internet off by clicking on the Wi-Fi icon usually found at the bottom right-hand corner of the screen, then “Disconnect” from the internet.
2. Use a different computer to change necessary credentials.
3. Notify any contacts or companies that you believe may be affected by the attack.
4. Take your system to a local, reputable computer repair shop.
If you have any questions or need help understanding these instructions, we are here for you! Please do not hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.