How to Keep Your Information Safe
Spoofing, phishing, keystroke loggers, malware, and schemes. You cannot turn around anymore without hearing about someone that has been hacked or had their data compromised. So, you ask yourself, what’s a computer user to do to keep information safe? Below are some tips that we’ve put together to help keep from losing your information or identity.
- Never click a link to your bank or financial institution from an email. Legitimate financial institutions will NEVER email and ask you to verify information, reset your password, or login by clicking on links. To avoid this, create a bookmark in your browser to your bank and use the bookmark to access your account if you receive a suspicious email.
- Don’t ever give out your email password. Any email that you receive asking you to provide your password is a phishing scam. This rule should apply to any and all email accounts you have.
- Use strong passwords and secret questions. Not only should you use a mix of numbers, symbols, and upper and lower case letters in your password, but you should use a different password for each of your important accounts – email, banking, shopping, etc. If someone hacks your password for one account, the other accounts using that password could be compromised too.
- Do not buy anything from an email you didn’t ask for. Remember, you cannot trust the “from” address on e-mail as it can easily be faked. If you did not expect a message, link, or attachment from someone, ask yourself why trust that it came from the apparent sender, and if it is safe. When in doubt, call and verify that they sent you the message.
- Do not give out your personal information or social security number. Never give out personal information unless you are using a secure website. At the beginning of the web address in your browser’s address bar – a secure website should read https:// instead of http://. You may also look to the bottom right of your screen for a padlock symbol.
- Learn to use a browser’s security features. Most browsers have similar security features, although how you access these functions and their names can vary.
- Ignore web site pop-ups saying you have a virus. Never click on these pop-ups. Instead, close the web browser and immediately run virus and Mal-ware scans on your computer.
- If you get up from your computer, lock it! In 1 minutes a disgruntled colleague can send a message on your behalf to the boss – no way for you to prove you didn’t send it. 30 seconds, a cracker could install a keystroke logger to capture everything including company secrets, user names, and passwords. Just 15 seconds, a passerby could delete all your documents.
So what are you to do if you have become a victim to one or more of these scams? Call Stewart and Son Computer Services, LLC. We’d be happy to look at your computer and help come up with a plan to clean your system. We will make sure your anti-virus and mal-ware software are up to date, keep information safe, and secure your system against future issues.