Keep your PC Secure: Beware of Computer Scams.

12/15/2011

As we have mentioned before Malware is any piece of malicious software created with the intention of stealing, destroying and creating disruption of services. But that is not the only way a hacker could get the best of you. There are many other ways a hacker can attack you and your data. Sometimes you are unaware of it and in some cases he is able to even have you do all the work for him. In order to prevent this from happening it is a good idea to educate oneself about the different types of Malware, how can they affect us and how to avoid them. The following is a list of most common Internet scams and how to avoid falling into their trap:

  • SPAM: or unsolicited advertisement. Nowadays it has grown to great extents. It is not only spread through email, but also by text messages and online videos. In some cases SPAM can carry malicious software. In order to avoid SPAM:
    • Do not share personal contact information with unreliable parties, especially unreliable websites. Do not trust any website requesting personal information in exchange for a free gift.
    • Set your SPAM filter to Medium or High levels.
    • Avoid opening suspicious emails. If the email was sent from a reliable source, but the subject makes no sense (like a friend incentivizing you to visit a certain website or buy a certain product) mark the message as SPAM.
    • If you are informed that your own account is spamming, change your email password immediately and run a virus scan on your PC.
    • Never download any attachments to these emails.
    • Phishing: fraudulent activity in which the attackers pretend to be contacting the attacked party from a legit, well known company in order to steal personal data. Most of the times spread through email. These attacks are not only conducted by computer means, sometimes they are also conducted by phone or as phony websites. Their emails or website look very formal and legit. Do not ever share personal information with these parties. If necessary, make sure to confirm their identity by contacting the company through reliable means (find out their phone number and contact them. Try and find out if the issue is legit). In some cases some online research will let you know of similar scams.
    • Scareware: essentially, scareware causes a screen to pop-up in your computer alerting you of potential threats in your computer, charging fees to remove them. If these messages are not coming from your antivirus or Internet Security Suite, do not trust them. Contact Telx Support for further investigation.
    • Lottery Scam: a message pops on the screen announcing you have been selected amongst millions of users to receive a prize or a life time opportunity, or even a new business strategy. Do not ever trust these advertisements.
    • Chain Mail Scam: believe it or not, cutting the chain will not bring bad luck to you, but keeping the chain alive could. Avoid passing along chain mails, such as jokes, funny pictures, and even moving stories. Sometimes they happen to be full of dangerous codes.

In a nutshell, do not trust any suspicious emails, websites phone calls, text messages or any other type of communication attempting to collect personal data. If such is the case, attempt to contact the company by your own means and try and confirm if the issue is real. Remember the old saying: “If it seems too good to be true, it usually is”. Do not open any links promising deals too good to be true. Always stay alert and never spread potentially unsafe media.

If you believe you are a victim of Malware or Spyware get in touch with the Telx Computers Help Desk Support line and we will take care of your computer.