Risk Avoidance, Dharam Khalsa from Bluelink IT Solutions gave us an education on the many ways our client’s computers can be compromised.
8 Ways your Computer can be at Risk
- Viruses – intended to damage your computer, typically is self replicating
- AdWare – automatically displays or downloads advertising material (often unwanted)
- SpyWare – enables a user to obtain covert information about another’s computer activities
- MalWare – intended to damage or disable computers
- Phishing / Whaling – attempt to obtain sensitive information
- ScareWare – malicious computer programs designed to trick a user into buying and downloading unnecessary and potentially dangerous software, such as fake antivirus protection.
- RansomWare – a type of malicious software designed to block access to a computer system until a sum of money is paid.
- IOT – Internet of Things that attack attached devices: cameras, phones, even smart thermostats
Phone Scams – the solicitor says you have an issue with your computer that has come to their attention. NOTE: GOOGLE will never call you on the phone. MICROSOFT will never call you on the phone.
What is the Risk?
- Identity Theft – There is a market for your information.
- Data Loss – Files could be deleted or encrypted.
- Slow to Not Working Hard drive – Someone else might be using your computer for malicious purposes.
- Financial loss – Recovering from any of the above and/or direct theft of money.
Symptoms of an infected system:
- Incessant Pop ups
- Performance problems – slow to crashing
- Unusual or Unexpected hard drive activity
- Unexpected hard drive usage
- High network activity
- Unexpected browser pages
- Unusual messages
- Antivirus software disabled
- Friends report strange email
8 Ways to Make your Computer Safe
Firstly, understand that there is no such thing as 100% protection.
- Avoid risky browsing topics such as free software, music, games, adult content.
- Avoid P2P (peer to peer) programs like Bittorrent, Limewire…
- Only open attachments from an email if expected. Use a secondary email for random website registrations.
- Use an anti-virus software package and keep it updated.
- Keep your operating system up to date.
- Know how to handle a suspect web page. One tip: hover over links but don’t click to see what is revealed.
- Become familiar with what various program updates look like. Tip: Go to application source to download.
- Secure your own website with added security: SiteLock, SSL certificates and Security plugins if you are using WordPress.
Computer Virus Facts:
- First virus was called Creeper, developed in 1971 and was an experiment in self replicating programs
- In the early 90s there were about 50 known viruses, by the late 90s there were closer to 50,000
- Today, 6,000 new viruses a month
- 90 percent of email contains malware
- 70% of virus writers do so on behalf of organized crime
- Viruses affect 40% of household computers
- In 2004 MyDoom caused 38.5 Billion in damage
For Hardware issues contact Dharam Khalsa can help.
For Website issues our team can run a security scan, install security plugins and work with your hosting company to clear issues. We can run reports on searchable terms to help you get found for the right reasons.
– Go West Design, 619-800-1063.