Staying Safe Online

We’re always hearing about viruses, phishing, and identity theft. How do we avoid these things? What do they even mean? We covered some basic terms here, but now we’re going to tell you how to keep your computer safe from these threats.

Dangerous Download Links

When browsing the internet it’s easy to come across big, flashing download buttons. They might come with a message like “you have drivers out of date – click here to fix now!” Or the ever-infamous “1000 free fonts and cursors!”

This also goes for ads that are offering screensavers, computer games, antivirus software, or a PC cleanup. More often than not these downloads will install trojans onto your computer – malicious software designed to look like a legitimate program. Don’t be fooled!

Phishing Emails and Phone Calls

We’ve all got that email from the FBI or the IRS saying the government made an accounting mistake and owes us $200,000, USD, right?

Or how about a letter from a helpless middle-eastern refugee who will give you a fortune in exchange for letting them use your bank account to store their money in? Yeah, sure.

Obviously these are all fakes and if it sounds too good to be true then it definitely is. Especially if it’s in an email. But there are a few other phishing email attempts that are more subtle and sadly trick a lot more people.

One of these attempts is called spoofing. A hacker can disguise their email address to come through as the name of an acquaintance, or even the same address! Telltale signs of these spoofed emails are bad English, unexpected attachments and unsolicited links. Make sure to ask the person you know if they really sent the message. Don’t click!

Using Antivirus Software

Having live antivirus software is a must for every computer. And while buying a good internet security program can definitely give you some great protection, it’s not always necessary.

If you are running Windows Vista or Windows 7 you can use Microsoft Security Essentials. Otherwise, Windows Defender will work (it’s already on your computer, you just have to activate it!). These are both free antivirus programs that will provide minimal live protection.

If you feel overwhelmed about protecting your business from threats online, feel free to give us a call at 405-245-3669 to receive a quick phone consultation and schedule a time for us to help you with your security!

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