Beat The Hackers
Our team are having increasing reports of hacks and viruses entering people’s computers. Some of these cases are as scary as almost losing thousands of pounds.
Can you really afford to lose that kind of money?
It’s time to fight back. It’s time to defend ourselves. And in this blog post we’re going to cover how you can be more aware, be more secure and beat the hacker.
So, here are the Dove Computers Top Tips for Avoid a Scam!
It’s easy to think ‘I won’t fall for any scams or fall victim to any hacks’, but it’s just not true. Anyone could. And by not having an appropriate and up to date anti-virus software protecting your computer, you open yourself up to a whole world of malware.
There’s the risk of clicking a dodgy link, entering a malicious website, being redirected by a virus infected pop up. Anything – it’s truly a dangerous place to be online.
An up to date anti-virus can help syphon this away from your computer. It can also prewarn you of harmful links or files attached to emails, bring any unsafe websites to your attention before it’s too late.
We recommend BitDefender as it’s the current number #1 anti-virus on the market right now.
As good and as essential as anti-virus software is, the scam artists have become incredibly clever and can still find ways around that.
So on to number two…
It sounds daft, but being aware of what you’re looking at online can go a long way to keeping yourself safe.
We have had increased cases of people being hacked on email and having their bank details copied by a phishing scam and it is preventable.
Some of these scams have become so clever they have cloned online banking pages to look exactly as your bank providers page does. However when you try to log in on these sites, you won’t go past that page – there will be an error with you log in details or the server will be down. Regardless, it’s not true.
To avoid this happening check the URL (the www search bar) – if the site is in any name other than your banking provider, it’s probably fake.
If you opened the link to a site through an email or a web link on another site, it could also be dangerous. So only enter your information if you’ve specifically searched for the site and can tell by the URL that this is the correct site.
Should an error message arise, ring your bank. There’s no harm in asking if online banking is down, or even checking you have the correct website before you enter your information. By doing this you’ll save yourself and your bank a lot of hassle, so they absolutely will not mind.
If you feel you may have entered your information on an illegitimate site, ring the bank right away, they may be able to block the transaction before it goes through.
It’s a sad fact, but you can’t trust anything online that you don’t know is real.
This brings us on to point number three…
Emailing is a great way of communicating with people you don’t know that well. It keeps your mobile number private and yet still allows you to converse with people and companies around the globe – free of charge.
It can be a double edge sword though, as not only can you become bombarded with spam emails you’re not interested in reading, but you can also become susceptible to a malicious email.
Phishing companies have become very good at masking (aka cloning) the design of trusted emails and twisting them into something far from that. We have had a fair few instances of people receiving emails claiming to be BT or Lloyds or even one of your colleagues stating that you owe money in some way.
Sometimes it can be done in a ‘you’ve won money’ kind of way. If you didn’t enter anything, you won’t have won’t anything – ignore it.
It’s important therefore with these emails to check the sender before opening the email. If it’s not an address in your contacts or a company you use regularly – ignore it.
It’s ok if you’ve opened it, we all sometimes open an email we don’t absolutely know the sender of, as often we’re waiting for a delivery or a message of some sort off of somebody. It’s just knowing what to do next.
Any links you don’t recognise, especially from a sender you don’t recognise should not be clicked.
If the email claims you owe money or are owed money ring the company – not on the number given on the email. Check online first, if you google the company you will be able to find a legitimate number online. If this number differs from that on the email, you’ve caught them out. If it’s the same, it may truly be legitimate.
Not all online email accounts require a password change over a period of time, though that’s always a good idea. Microsoft Office 365 will request a password change every so often – this can be altered in the settings should it be too frequent or not frequent enough for your liking.
But for any hacker that has masked your email and contact list, but changing your password you can effectively throw them out.
This is why it’s also a good idea to change your passwords on social media and shopping accounts you may hold – just to keep your own security.
An alternative small fix is to give yourself multiple email accounts – I’m not talking one for every program you log into – perhaps a spam email, a personal email and a business email.
Your spam email can be your social media, shop receipt and online account email. This is the email that’d be more susceptible to hacking as it’s the most used online… but you won’t care as there’s no personal or important info on there.
Your business and personal accounts are then saved for the emails you actually want – or at least have – to read.
This isn’t a flawless plan unfortunately, as other users you interact with could be hacked and therefore send you a dodgy email, but it definitely will help keep your mail box clean.
Lastly, what we all need to do once in a while
By keeping your computer organised and clearing out your cache files you can clean out any dodgy or old software that could be subjected to malware. Prevention is key with a virus, as once it’s in it can spread across your system, altering and harbouring any of your data at will.
Over to Us
That’s where we can help. We offer Bitdefender anti-virus and can help with the installation and upkeep of this. Every time you’re up for renewal we’ll contact you to see whether you’re in for another year’s subscription.
We can also check over your computer if you’re concerned and help clear out a virus should you have already been hacked into.
The hackers won’t win! Together we can fight back!