The internet can be an overwhelming place; after all, the massive content aggregator represents something different for everyone.  It’s where people and businesses alike come to share their thoughts, ideas, services and products.  Since everyone only gets one first impression, you can bet everyone is putting their best foot forward.  It can make for a magical experience when everything you need is resting at your fingertips to achieve your goals and dreams.

Lions and tigers and internet scams!  Oh, my!

Since the web is such a big place, there are a lot of voices claiming their solutions will transform your life or business.  It’s important to understand how the magic works behind the scenes.  Don’t worry!  That doesn’t mean we’re going to get super technical.  Instead, we just want to take a peek behind the curtain.  Remember in the Wizard of Oz when Dorothy and her pals got a good look at the “great” and “powerful” Oz for the first time?  He really wasn’t too impressive; however, our heroes would have been none the wiser if all they saw was his presentation.  As we know, not everyone is who they say they are, and sometimes those sleight-of-hand tricks can be really hard to spot!  That’s why we’ve identified a couple tricks along with some tips to help you stay one step ahead of the bad guys.

Trick 1:  Scareware

Ever come across a webpage that sounded a little like this:  Stop! Your computer has been infected with a fatal virus and if you don’t call this number now, all your data will be lost!

Believe it or not, this tactic catches more people than you’d think, and it usually results in more viruses and stolen credit card information.  But don’t panic!  If you find yourself in this situation, our tip is to close out of your browser and do not call the number.  If the browser won’t close, give us a call—after all, we’ve got your back.

Trick 2:  The Phishing Email

Fraudulent emails are becoming an increasingly common way that cyber-crooks are trolling the web for money and information that doesn’t belong to them.  We all know by now not to send financial aid to the foreign prince in return for millions, but what about an email that sounds something like this:  You’re Office 365 password is expiring, click here to change immediately and prevent your account from becoming locked out.

What’s really happening is this form is waiting for you to put in your credentials that will then be used to infect your network and steal your data.  What do you do about it?  It’s best to err on the side of caution and double check with your trusted IT advisor.  Some other red flags are:  typos, phony email addresses, and communications that seem out of place or unexpected.

There’s a lot to watch out for, and it takes time and training to recognize a deceptive illusion when it comes to your data’s privacy.  That’s why when you sign up for a project during the months of October, November and December 2017, we’ll run a complimentary simulated email phishing test to be sure your team is equipped to spot cheap tricks that can have expensive consequences.

Give us a call today for more info—we’re looking forward to hearing from you!

First published in our October 2017 IT Radix Resource newsletter