It’s become the flipside to the unlimited potential of the Internet. Fraudsters and hackers are everywhere and becoming more sophisticated by the minute. And while society becomes more and more dependent on the Web for everything from business to personal e-mails, it’s important to also keep in mind that these fraudsters are just as active and looking for the weakest, most susceptible targets to carry out their schemes.
There are too many scamming plots out there to list. Some of the major ones worth noting are phishing hacks, where an e-mail is sent from a seemingly reputable source asking you to update your account information, including your driver’s licence or social insurance number, passwords, credit card number, and more. You can imagine what anyone with ill intent could do with that much stolen information.
Other scams aren’t so subtle; hackers will basically break into your account by figuring out the password, steal something of value, and then turn around and charge you for it. We’ve seen this happen recently to celebrities who stored personal or intimate pictures online. Hackers have forced many others to pay a premium to get back their own pictures, which some have paid without hesitation because of the sentimental value of the images.
How to Be Safe
Although hackers have the technological advantage, steps can be taken by anyone to protect themselves from these online vultures:
1. Don’t Click: If you don’t recognize what you see on the screen, don’t click on it. That means links, attachments, or web sites; just close the window and move on.
2. Treat Your Identity Like Gold: Do not give out any personal information to anyone you don’t trust and refrain from providing credit card or other personal info over e-mails or outside of secure applications.
3. Close Pop-Ups: They may appear to be harmless ads, but those pop-ups could be tracking your activity over the web.
4. Be Wary of Free Downloads: Especially when it requires you inputting your e-mail address. Don’t download anything it unless it’s from a trusted source, and even then be skeptical.
5. Check Accounts Regularly: Be diligent and make sure you are regularly logging into your accounts. Go over transaction histories and determine if anything seems off.
6. Passwords Matter: Sorry, but “family1234” is not a strong enough password. Avoid repeating numbers or using consecutive numbers; instead, alternate capital and lowercase letters and use unique characters.
7. Update Your Software: The newer the software, the better the protection. Out-of-date software makes it easier for fraudsters to access your accounts or online activity.
8. There’s Nothing Wrong with Free: Free antivirus software is better than no antivirus software at all. Plenty of free trials are available and a lot of free downloads, so take advantage.
9. Mobile Makes a Difference: Remember that your smartphone is a device that needs protecting as well. Take the same precautions with your cell phone as you would with your laptop.
Zarr Tech is able to provide the services necessary to prevent your computer, and in turn your company, from having to succumb to hackers. Not everyone has the capabilities to install high-tech software to guard against aggressive hackers, but specialists from Zarr Tech possess the experience and can apply their knowledge to protecting the valuable information currently on your computer.
Contact-us for more information regarding our services.