We all know the story of how a friend, family member or business associate got hacked. Cyber security is becoming more and more relevant in these times. What I would like to talk about is how to keep yourself safe on the net.
Phishing schemes are emails targeted at unfortunate users to try and gather their personal user data. This could include accounts, passwords, credit card details, and on it goes.
How to identify a phishing scheme:
- The domain name is misspelt or doesn’t make sense (a strange Gmail account for example)
- The email is poorly written.
- The email includes suspicious attachments or links.
What to do if you think you are the target of a phishing scheme:
- Do not open the email.
- Delete the email so you don’t accidentally open it.
- Never try to open attachments or click on links.
Please remember no legitimate business or company will request you update your user data or financial data in the form of an email.
Anti-Virus software on your PC is critical. Even if you’re smart with the use of your computer to avoid viruses, they can still sometimes get through. Viruses, spyware, malware, Trojans, phishing attacks, rootkits and spam attacks. These are all the components your internet security is there to keep you safe from. It might be advisable to pay a couple of dollars and avoid free anti-virus software if you can.
If your antivirus software detects a virus on your system and cleans it – Do a full system scan. If the virus takes hold it would be advisable to get hold of a technician as soon as you can. And please ensure you have a backup.
In the case of an emergency, it is very wise to have all of your data backed up. Viruses can be very invasive and you could lose your data – especially if your machine needs to be rebuilt.
This doesn’t have to be complicated. External drives these days are inexpensive and a very good place to start.
Microsoft Windows has a very efficient backup system built to its OS. It’s called File History. File History is designed to take a backup of all of your user data as often as hourly. The backup is incremental and does not stop you from using your computer as normal. There are also a bunch of cloud-based solutions that can assist in keeping your data safe.
Just a small reminder. Please try to avoid using the same password on many accounts; you’re leaving yourself very vulnerable. If a hacker gets hold of a business’s database and your password is on it, this will compromise your security on a bunch of sites, not just one.
So that’s it. Stay safe and keep surfing.