Computer & PC Help

HOLIDAY TIME – IT’S RIP OFF TIME TOO!15 Nov

Well it’s that time of the year again when the cyber crooks are looking to get you! So once again I’ve decided to publish my tips and give some information….

First of all to any of my followers – Happy Holiday’s…

Yes its holiday time again and those “nasty” emails are upon us once again.  Here’s my rule of thumb.  If you don’t know the sender be careful because you never know what’s going to happen when you open that email and click on that link.  They say “curiosity killed the cat” well I say “curiosity can rob you blind”

So let’s review… Rule of thumb the IRS, FBI, CIA, Microsoft, UPS, Fed EX, USPS, your bank,  your mortgage company, any other government agency, etc. WILL NEVER, NEVER send you email ASKING FOR ANY PERSONAL INFORMATION!!!!    Should you receive any of this type of mail DELETE IT!  This is called phishing (pronounced fishing ) email.  They are trying to obtain your personal information in order to steal from you.   If you are not expecting a package then why would you get an email from the USPS, FED EX, or UPS?  Well as I said before “curiosity killed the cat and can rob you blind”.  These people are hoping that you allow them to obtain your personal information by clicking on that attachment in that email or clicking on that link because you are curious enough to find out what that email is for.  If UPS, Fed EX or USPS does happen to email you it will NOT ask you for information, it will only state that the package is on the way, and give you a link to track it.  But as I said, if you didn’t order anything, then you should not be receiving and email about it.

Quick story:  I had a client call me up she received one of those email from UPS.  She was expecting a package – but as I said UPS doesn’t send you emails with a link.  When they send email for a package they address it to you and there is their logo on it with the package information.  They just don’t say click on this link and install this.  She clicked the link and suddenly they couldn’t open any of their documents, spreadsheets, pdf’s or database files.  This was and is a disaster for them.  This is a “new” and improved way to steal your money it’s called the Crypto Ransom Virus.  I spoke about this nasty addition to ripping you off on my Facebook page. This one pops up a message telling you that your files have been encrypted and unless you pay you can’t get them back!  Well even if you do pay it’s not a guarantee you’ll get your files unencrypted.  What does encrypted files mean?  Well in a word it makes them unreadable.    And what’s so interesting about this one is it not only encrypts your files on your PC but it encrypts anything else that’s attached to your PC.  So for example say you’re working for a big company and you have a mapped drive to store files on a server if you happen upon this virus you’ve not only infected your computer but the entire computer network you’re attached to.  The only way to get the information back is to have a backup.  Most businesses do but for you home users not so much.  There is no “cure” for this.  You can get rid of the virus but you can’t decrypt the files so basically anything you have is useless.  This particular user didn’t think, and didn’t look at what she was doing.  Within a second of clicking on this link from this phony email she totally destroyed everything on this PC and for this record this was a small business with no backups.   Everything is gone.

My advice is either

a) Get yourself an external drive that you can simply plug into your USB port of your laptop and store whatever you can’t afford to lose on that.  Keep it safe and only plug it in when you are updating it.  So for example, I have one such device I keep pictures and my music on there and anything else I can’t afford to lose. I only attach this to my PC when I’m going to copy more information to it.

B) You can invest some money and use one of those on line backup places.  The choice is  yours. But either way that should help you out.

 

Check out my Facebook page for more details on the crypto ransom virus.

 

This one is always fun… No, you don’t have a cousin, aunt, uncle or for that matter any relative in Sudan, Nigeria, or any other country that is contacting you by email because you just inherited a million plus dollars.  What’s so interesting about this is that you have to pay for your inheritance – really?  And you didn’t win the lottery overseas either especially because you didn’t play!  Also, Publishers’ Clearing House doesn’t email you to tell you that you’ve won they show up. And you don’t have to fill out a form on line that gives your personal information or pay any money to receive your prize.

Here’s on I just received in my email about a charity – nice touch.

From: “Gillian And Adrian Bayford” <adrian@msn.com>
Date: November 14, 2013 at 4:08:36 AM EST
To: Recipients <adrian@msn.com>
Subject: Christmas Donation Funds
Reply-To: bayford17@rogers.com

Send Name, Country,Age,Occupation and Phone number. My wife and i are donating 1,500,000British Pounds to Five people each, as part of our charity donation this month, for details see our interview http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-19254228

 

I have no doubt this may be a real story, but they are asking me to send them my information?  That’s not right.  Usually if you want to donate money to a charity you can do it over the web and it’s on a secure website (something secure would be https://… And a lock would appear at the bottom of the screen) So, in this case they are going to just give money to five people – any five people who happen to send the required information?  I doubt that. They just need my name, Country, Age and Occupation along with my phone number? They are going to call me?  Since when do I need to send any charity my information, I just give them a check and that’s that.  And look at the email. My wife and i?  They can’t even spell and no space between the 1,500,000 and British?  Grammar is wrong.  That’s a red flag too.  But I have no doubt people see stuff like this and click the link and give the information out.  I’m sure isn’t the last piece of mail like this that will show up in my in box this holiday season.

You can’t stop this stuff from coming in but you can ignore it by deleting it immediately.  Also, it’s very important to have some type for Virus Protection on your PC, laptop even tablet, anything that you receive and open email on or surf the web.  And yes, a Mac can get a virus too.  See my blog on virus protection vs. Internet Security – there is a difference.

Anything including your phone is a vessel for you to be ripped off. You need to be aware of what you are reading, opening and even clicking on when you’re browsing the internet. KNOW what you’re downloading, and know what you are saying yes to.  I have so many people call me up and tell me that their home page got changed and they don’t know how it happened.  My first question to them is “what did you install”?  So many times I update my “flash, Java, etc.” these are program that you do need, and there’s a check box that says install “Chrome, AVG, some toolbar, change your home page”, etc.  If you don’t uncheck this box it installs.  Again awareness of what you are doing on line is the key!

So my advice to you all this Holiday Season is PAY ATTENTION to what you’re doing on the internet and delete those unknown emails.

 

HAPPY  HOLIDAYS everyone!

Comments are closed.

Network Setup and Computer Repair

A Woman’s Touch Computer Services, AWTCS, sets up networks and provides PC repairs for New and Existing Businesses, Home Offices, and Residences. See our expanded list of computer services. Please Contact us if you have additional questions.

Local On Site PC Service

AWTCS covers south Florida including Coral Springs, Wellington, Sunrise, Margate, Parkland, Pompano Beach, Deerfield Beach, Fort Lauderdale and Boca Raton.