Wednesday, March 9, 2016

2016-03-10 WBKV Talking Points

Part 2: Stay Safe on the Internet

Be aware that trustworthy companies, especially Microsoft and it’s affiliates, will never contact you because of a supposed technical problem of any kind.
The following will definitely be scams:
  • Phone calls
  • Advertisements for technical support for any software product on search engines like Google, Yahoo or Bing
  • Pop-ups for tech support from social web sites (Facebook! or LinkedIn)
  • Pop-ups for tech support that promote phone based tech; these usually require a previous malware infection or an unsafe web browser.
Scam avoidance 101:
  1. Never completely trust someone you don’t know who called you.
    Listen to them, if you like.
  2. Ask questions, if you feel like it, but NEVER EVER give them access to your PC
  3. NEVER EVER give them any payment information.
  4. Tell them that you will let your local tech look into it (even if you don’t have one).
  5. If the caller hangs up – good for you.
  6. If he/she gets impolite or abusive it’s your time to hang up!
Afraid of a real problem? Do the research yourself or contact a trusted tech support person.

Chances are there’s nothing to see at all.

If you have handed over payment information, you’ve just given that information to a complete stranger. Immediately put your credit card or payment provider on fraud alert. If you allowed the scammer to access your computer things can get ugly. Do NOT use the computer; you usually have no idea what they did. You need a trusted technician to check out your machine.
This IS a common scam right now and the best defense is to not fall for it in the first place.

Another currently growing threat: MS-Word, Excel or Powerpoint files sent as attachments! When these files are opened you mostly see the request “... to turn protection on ...” or similar tricks. Don’t do it, don't believe it, it's a trick!  Many very nasty ransomware viruses use this trick! If you do not have a current backup YOU PAY! You either pay the crooks to get your files back and/or a trusted technician to re-build all the software on your computer.  And if you don't have install disks for Windows  - b.t.w. they do NOT come with computers any longer - you have even more problems.

Stay safe.

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