The credit freeze process is now free thanks to a new federal law. If you want extra protection against identity theft, and junk mail read this article to learn more. This ability is a win for the American consumer.
You hear the names Amazon Echo and Google Home more and more these days. These are two of the most popular devices to control equipment in your home via voice command and the Internet. These smart devices all belong to the Internet of Things (I0T). While they provide convenience, they also come with security concerns. Please read the latest Sans Ouch! Newsletter to learn more about this trend, and how to best protect yourself.
You almost hate to hear your phone ring because it’s a 50-50 chance it’s some type of unwanted solicitation, or a scam. As a rule, I don’t answer my personal phone unless I know the caller. If it’s someone with a legitimate reason to call, they will leave a message, and I will call them back. In the latest edition of the Sans Ouch! Newsletter you can learn about the main scams, and how to protect yourself from becoming a victim.
In the June issue of the SANS Ouch! newsletter they explain in clear everyday language what malware is, what it can do to your computer, and the simple things you can do to protect yourself. The two biggest things I tell my clients is backup your personal data (or be prepared to loose it), and use common sense when on the Internet. Don’t allow yourself to be manipulated or panicked into doing something you normally wouldn’t if a “Microsoft” pop-up comes up in your browser. When in doubt, give us a call.
Phishing is one of the newer weapons the “bad guys” use to try and trick you into giving them personal information. They use our humanity against us by making us curious, or trying to instill a sense or urgency. Learn more about phishing, and how not to become a victim by reading the latest Sans Ouch! Newsletter. You will be glad you did.
There has been much written and discussed regarding the recently discovered Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities. First the good news, there is NO known instance of either of these two vulnerabilities being used in the real world, however that will probably change in the near future. The concern is what the “bad guys” could do with these security holes. Right now all you can do is update your anti-virus, malware, web browser, other security programs, and your operating system as patches are released. I highly recommend making sure you have a backup of your data before installing these updates. In some cases with computers 5-6 years old the updates are “breaking” the computers, and there is no current fix (other than temporarily disabling Windows Update). This assumes your System Restore is on, and creating restore points for you to go back to. If not, you will only be able to return to a working operating system by utilizing a system image file (which most people don’t have), or reloading the operating system from scratch! If you don’t know if your System Restore is on or not, I recommend you contact us ASAP to verify this for you. If you want to learn even more about this subject, please checkout this great in-depth article from Ask Leo!
Securing your accounts with a password is a common practice that has been around as long as the Internet itself. Unfortunately, the “bad guys” are stepping up their game in an attempt to access them for nefarious purposes. The latest Sans Ouch! Newsletter goes into detail about choosing more secure passwords, and a growing security “addition” called two-factor authentication (2FA). I highly recommend reading this to better secure your online presence.
It’s hard to believe, but the holiday season will soon be here. Maybe it’s because of my surgery back in July, but it feels like this year has just flown by. With the holiday season comes the desire to buy our loved ones that special gift(s). Many of us now do some or all of our shopping online. The latest Sans Ouch! Newsletter has some great tips on how to ensure your financial security online. Click here for all the details.
If you are a Skype user, make sure you never respond to unsolicited popup ads/warnings. There is a current scam going round that has caused many folks to be susceptible to a malware attack. A fake popup screen pops up claiming that you need to perform a “critical upgrade” for Adobe flash. When you do it seems like you are updating Flash, but you are actually installing ransomware on your computer! All legitimate updates will come from within the software or operating system. Remember…no legitimate company will ever contact you unsolicited.
We are highly recommending that all our clients go to the following website to verify whether or not they have been impacted by the Equifax breach that made national news last week. If you have been affected, Equifax will provide you with a year of free credit monitoring. Be sure and read the fine print of the agreement. We have been told accepting the agreement prevents you from joining any future class action lawsuits. Make the right choice for yourself. Click here to see if you have been affected.
If you have, there are three options available to you:
1- Equifax will give you the one year of credit monitoring, but there may be strings.
2- You can call all three credit bureaus and do a credit watch. It’s free, and requires companies to verify the request for credit is legitimate. The downside is crooks would just bypass this.
3- You can call all three credit bureaus and do a credit freeze. It’s $10 per bureau, but your credit is locked down. The downside it will be $30 a pop if you ever need new credit.