Hey everybody, I thought this might be important to pass along. As you are probably aware, Equifax had a data breech yesterday.
What you can expect to happen now, are people trying to take advantage of that situation. Below is a sample email that has been floating around since this happened:
DO NOT CLICK THE LINKS IF YOU GET THAT EMAIL, JUST DELETE IT!
It is completely false, and it’s another attempt at getting your personal information.
Sample Phishing Email:
The internet is a fun place, but, it can also be an open place for predators. The unscrupulous and the hustlers have found a whole new way to find victims of their folly.
What can we do?
The most important thing is to be aware. I often get asked about emails, and that is by far a leading place for a cyber-attack to happen. Almost all Ransom-ware attacks come from that source.
- Never open an email that you are not expecting. Don’t just look at the ‘From’ address in an email, look at the underlying actual email address. Even then, if there is a link inside the email DON’T CLICK THE LINK, contact the sender and ask them if they sent you something. But, don’t randomly click a link. The sender could also have a ROOTKIT, that can cause a RANSOMWARE or VIRUS email to be sent using their address book.
- Some spoof emails pretend to be from our banks, PayPal, Ebay, LinkedIn, and other popular websites and explain that your account has been locked out or some other problem that requires your attention and for you to click a link, or fix your settings. This is another common method to get your personal information. DON’T CLICK THE LINK! Banks, PayPal, and most sites will never send you an email to reset your settings. Always open a NEW browser and enter the address by hand, go to that site and check for yourself.
- I can’t stress enough how important it is to not click links in emails, previewing emails is fine, don’t open them, and click the links unless your absolutely sure its safe.
- We all occasionally type the wrong address in a browser and get to the wrong website. But, these days that can cause a virus scripting attack. Make sure your browser is updated to its most recent version. This can help built in filters implemented by browser creators to ensure you have the latest protection.
- Another easy way to protect yourself is to get in the habit of looking at the address bar after you load a webpage, for example if you were looking for www.microsoft.com and you type in that address and when the page loads and it has something different, don’t proceed on clicking links on that site. You may have been infected with a SEARCH HIJACKING browser add-in. These range from a easy to get rid of to very difficult. Periodically check your add / remove program list to see if something doesnt look right. (or if your in the Dallas, Ft. Worth area, call US).
Make sure you have virus protection on your computer. There are some good FREE virus protection applications available. One of my favorites is made by Avast (www.avast.com), it has saved me a few times and has less of the occasional link to buy their paid version, than www.avg.com which offers FREE virus protection as well. Avast may slow your system down somewhat, but, not enough to be unacceptable. Each has an excellent paid version and will include an install for up to 3 computers / devices.
The internet, software, and our lives are in constant change. If you are in the Dallas / FT. Worth area we can help you with your computer, network and custom application needs, just give us a call at 972.571.4808. Be safe out there!
Holding All the Aces
My ever faithful US Robotics Router has been acting very intermittent lately, so it was time to replace it. After all, the servers that sit behind it run this site and some others and we can’t have those down. So, with a little research I ended up with a Linksys N750 (EA3500) router. Configuring the basic router functions went pretty easily, it did take a while to find where to input the virtual settings so the servers would get pass thru on the correct ports. But, all in all it went pretty well and those functions wouldn’t be used by a typical household.
UNTIL…. I went to configure my notebook to connect to the wireless part of the router.
Holding the Bag
After using the settings that came with the router for wireless access, my notebook asked for the pass code (as normal), I supplied it, but, unfortunately it wouldn’t connect. I thought it must be in that new fangled WPA2/WPA Mixed setting. After all it’s too simple to just supply the wireless password and everything would work right? right! After all the usual computer consulting trouble shooting, I changed the settings to the old standard WEP, still no dice. Linksys support website said to attempt the connection put in the password and you’ll connect, then asked “Was this information helpful?”. But what if that doesn’t work? What now?
This is where we have to think small, and start methodically. Here’s what to do:
- Unplug the Linksys Router, wait about 20 seconds and plug it back in. Wait for it to boot up completely.
- Restart the device (in my case my notebook) and attempt the connection.
- It Worked.
Amazing how much, just resetting clears the confusion in a device sometimes. So, next time before you make the call, check the connections, power down the devices and try one last time. BTW, there is an order to starting network devices and each one should be completely up before you move on to the next one, and they are: Modem, Router, Switch, Computer.