Here are some quick tips on identifying a scam & how to avoid them!
What is Malware & Ransomware?
Malware tricks you into installing software that allows scammers to access your files and track what you are doing, while ransomware demands payment to ‘unlock’ your computer or files.
What are the warning signs?
You receive an email or social media message out of the blue that claims to contain links to a topical news item or something ‘interesting’, and you are asked to download software in order to view the material.
Music files, games, or access to adult sites are offered free of charge if you download a particular program or agree to a pop-up box.
Pop-up boxes start appearing on your computer screen. These may have simple questions or a button that says ‘close’.
You notice new icons on your computer screen, or your computer is not as fast as it normally is.
How to avoid a malware or ransomware scam?
Do not open attachments or click on links in emails or social media messages you’ve received from strangers – just press delete.
If you want to access footage or information about major or breaking news, use a reliable news source rather than an unknown web link.
Be wary of free downloads and website access, such as music, games, movies and adult sites, they may install harmful programs without you knowing.
Always keep your computer security up to date with anti-virus and anti-spyware software, and a good firewall. Only buy computer and anti-virus software from a reputable source.
Use your security software to run a virus check if you think your computer’s security has been compromised. If you still have doubts, contact your anti-virus software provider or a computer specialist.
Keep your office networks, computers, and mobile devices secure. Update your security software, change passwords and back up your data regularly. Store your backups offsite and offline. Stay Smart Online explains how to back-up your data and secure your mobile devices.
What are Phishing Scams?
Phishing scams are attempts by scammers to trick you into giving out personal information such as your bank account numbers, passwords and credit card numbers.
How does this scam work?
A scammer contacts you pretending to be from a legitimate business such a bank, telephone or internet service provider. You may be contacted by email, social media, phone call, or text message.
The scammer asks you to provide or confirm your personal details. For example, the scammer may say that the bank or organisation is verifying customer records due to a technical error that wiped out customer data. Or, they may ask you to fill out a customer survey and offer a prize for participating.
Alternatively, the scammer may alert you to ‘unauthorised or suspicious activity on your account’. You might be told that a large purchase has been made in a foreign country and asked if you authorised the payment. If you reply that you didn’t, the scammer will ask you to confirm your credit card or bank details so the ‘bank’ can investigate. In some cases the scammer may already have your credit card number and ask you to confirm your identity by quoting the 3 or 4 digit security code printed on the card.
Phishing messages are designed to look genuine, and often copy the format used by the organisation the scammer is pretending to represent, including their branding and logo. They will take you to a fake website that looks like the real deal, but has a slightly different address. For example, if the legitimate site is ‘www.realbank.com.au’, the scammer may use an address like ‘www.reallbank.com’.
If you provide the scammer with your details online or over the phone, they will use them to carry out fraudulent activities, such as using your credit cards and stealing your money.
How to avoid a phishing scam?
Do not click on any links or open attachments from emails claiming to be from your bank or another trusted organisation and asking you to update or verify your details – just press delete.
Look for the secure symbol. Secure websites can be identified by the use of ‘https:’ rather than ‘http:’ at the start of the internet address, or a closed padlock or unbroken key icon at the bottom right corner of your browser window. Legitimate websites that ask you to enter confidential information are generally encrypted to protect your details.
Never provide your personal, credit card or online account details if you receive a call claiming to be from your bank or any other organisation. Instead, ask for their name and contact number and make an independent check with the organisation in question before calling back.
Think you’ve been scammed?
Call Super I.T. Solutions on 13 86 26 for a checkup!