Security - Part 2 - Too Good To Be True

Submitted by: Andrew Atkins an Outsourced IT Support  Specialist with Palmetto Technology Group.

This post is part 2 of a blog sharing tips to be safer and less stressed with technology. It’s based on real examples where clients reached to PTG for emergency IT support. You can also read part 1 here.

If it looks too good, it’s probably fake:

Remember the old saying, “If something looks too good to be true, it probably is”? The same principle applies in the world of computer security. We’ve gotten past the emails of the deposed dignitary in the third world country who says if you just send him $200 to help him get out of exile and take back his kingdom he’ll send you untold amounts of money, all just as a way of saying thanks. Clearly that’s a bad idea right? But what about the big flashing red and green banner on a website that reads something along the lines of: ”Your computer is infected with 834093458 viruses! Click here to disinfect your computer now!” Yeah, you guessed it. That’s the carrot, then comes the stick when you realize that suddenly your computer is now so infected with malware it won’t even open up Internet Explorer without throwing half a dozen error messages. The really creative ones now are using the same color scheme that Microsoft has used for years, or stealing things like the FBI and CIA crests in order to make their malicious software look legitimate. (See Below). The moral of the story is to just stop and think. If you don’t do business with a certain company or you weren’t expecting an email from someone don’t open it and certainly don’t click on any attachments or links in the messages. That email that looks like it came from FedEx but is terribly misspelled and has even worse grammar in it is 99.99% chance a scam.

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While it is getting harder and harder to keep our digital lives secure there are just a few simple things that we can do that go a long way to helping. Here are three tips that, as an IT managed Services provider, we at PTG always recommend:

  • Keep your computers up to date with security updates and patches,
  • keep those passwords changed and complex (see previous blog post)
  • Never click on something you don’t recognize.

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