Burnt Orange Solutions IT Expert Tip of the Month Phishing E-mails and Ransomware
Saskatoon IT Tips – Phishing E-mails and Ransomware
Our Saskatoon IT Tips are from the Trusted professionals at Burnt Orange Solutions. We promise to have a one-hour response time for all your IT support needs. Honesty and respect are important to us. In our latest tip, we discuss phishing E-mails and Ransomware.
Phishing E-mails and Ransomware are two very prominent ways that hackers try to steal money from users.
Saskatoon IT Security Tip #1 – Phishing E-mails often looks 100% legitimate!
A phishing e-mail is a bogus e-mail that is carefully designed to look like a legitimate request (or attached file) from a site you trust in an effort to get you to willingly give up your login information to a particular web site or to click and download a virus.
Often these e-mails look 100% legitimate and show up in the form of a PDF, FedEx tracking number, bank letter, Facebook alert, etc. That’s what makes these so dangerous – they LOOK exactly like a legitimate e-mail. So how can you tell a phishing e-mail from a legitimate one? Here are a few telltale signs…
First, hover over the URL in the e-mail (but DON’T CLICK!) to see the ACTUAL website you’ll be directed to. If there’s a mismatched or suspicious URL, delete the e-mail immediately. In fact, it’s a good practice to just go to the site direct (typing it into your browser) rather than clicking on the link to get to a particular site.
A telltale sign is poor grammar and spelling errors. Another warning sign is that the e-mail is asking you to “verify” or “validate” your login or asking for personal information. Why would your bank need you to verify your account number? They should already have that information. And finally, if the offer seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Saskatoon IT Security Tip #2 – Foil ransomware by being incredibly diligent about IT Security.
Not too long ago, the CryptoLocker ransomware virus was all over the news, infecting over 250,000 computers in its first 100 days of release (at least that’s the number reported – the real numbers are probably MUCH higher). The threat was fairly straightforward: Pay us or we’ll delete all your data.
Ransomware, like the CryptoLocker attack, works by encrypting your files to prevent you from using or accessing them. After the files are compromised, the hackers behind the attack pop-up a screen asking for payments, within a set time limit (e.g., 72 hours) in order to get the key to decrypt your files.
Obviously, the best way to foil a ransomware attack is to be incredibly diligent about IT security; but with hundreds of thousands of new attacks being created daily, there are no guarantees that you won’t get infected. Therefore, it’s critical to maintain a full, daily backup of your data OFF-SITE so that IF you do get whacked with ransomware, you can recover all your files without having to pay a thin dime; and don’t forget to back up off-site PCs, laptops, remote offices and third-party software data stored in cloud apps as well!
Want a Head Start on Securing Your Business?
We hope this article gave you some insight into phishing e-mails and ransomware that you can use to make your business more secure. Phishing E-mails and Ransomware are particularly lucrative when levelled against businesses, so companies MUST take these threats seriously.
If you want to do more to protect yourself and your business, our ‘7 Security Requirements You Need To Now’ document is a good place to start. Download the document to see our top 7 steps any business can take to improve their IT security. If you’re ready to take your security to the next level, contact the Trusted IT professionals at Burnt Orange Solutions and take IT worries off your plate.
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