Category: Internet Security

Cryptojacking And How It Can Put Your Computer At Risk

Cryptojacking And How It Can Put Your Computer At Risk

Cryptojacking And How It Can Put Your Computer At Risk

What Are Cryptocurrencies?

I’m sure most of you reading this have heard about cryptocurrency in one form or another. Some of you may have even invested in this new form of currency. But for those of you who aren’t familiar with the different cryptocurrencies and how they work, I’ll go over some very basic knowledge before jumping into cryptojacking and its effects.

Cryptocurrencies are a secure digital asset that have exploded in both popularity and value over the past year. There are many different types of cryptocurrencies in circulation today. Aside from the most well-known (and valuable) Bitcoin, there is Ethereum, Ripple, and Monero. It’s important to understand how Monero differs from the others, since it’s the primary currency being used in cryptojacking efforts.

While it may be difficult to uncover the real name behind a bitcoin address, it is certainly possible. And once that name is uncovered, a simple person search can be used to find out everything there is to know about that individual. Monero on the other hand is completely anonymous and notoriously difficult to track payments. That is why its been so widely adopted by the online black market.

Unlike traditional forms of money that print new bills to add to circulation, a specialized process know as “mining” is used to create new cryptocurrency. Without going too in-depth, the practice of mining essentially uses your computer’s processor to solve complex mathematical sequences. Once the correct solution is found, the user will be awarded a predetermined amount of cryptocurrency. In order to be successful at mining however, a massive amount of processing power is needed. This is why most miners build specialized computers and join groups of other miners to increase the power of their networks.

Cryptojacking And How It Can Affect Your Device

Contrary to it’s name, the term cryptojacking does not refer to stealing an individual’s currency. Instead, cryptojacking refers to stealing computing resources (and the electricity used to power those resources) from an individual’s computer in order to mine for cryptocurrency.

Cryptojacking And How It Can Put Your Computer At Risk
Cryptojacking scripts utilize your computers processing power to help mine currency for the website’s host.

The first wide-spread instances of cryptojacking were reported back in September when Showtime and the popular torrent site The Pirate Bay were found to have injected cryptojacking code into their websites. While it’s unclear what method Showtime used, The Pirate Bay admitted to testing a new program called Coinhive in hopes of replacing their notoriously terrible ads. Essentially what this program does is turn any visiting computer into a mining tool for the host website. As a result, any Internet users browsing The Pirate Bay were subjected to an increased CPU load.

The issue with cryptojacking isn’t that websites are trying to monetize their traffic. In fact, some researchers believe this technique, in a more legitimate form, could actually help websites reduce the need for advertisements. The problem is, websites running these programs are using their visitor’s computer resources without their permission. Not only is this an invasive practice, it can also impact the lifespan of the computer itself. One researcher found that having multiple tabs opened to known cryptojacking websites easily brought the computers CPU load up to 100%. Prolonged usage at these rates can significantly reduce the lifetime of internal components. In some cases, important components can be irreversibly damaged, rendering the whole system inoperable.

How You Can Protect Yourself

Now that you’re all caught up, let’s take a look at some ways you can protect your devices. The first thing to look into would be your anti-virus software. Some of these programs, such as Malwarebytes, offer tools that can block cryptojacking scripts. If your anti-virus software doesn’t have such a tool, then you can download an extension for your browser that will do the same thing. One such example is the NoCoin extension for the Chrome browser. If extensions aren’t really your thing, you could instead download the new Opera browser. As of today, Opera’s 50th version will come standard with cryptojacking protection. Choose the option which best suits your needs and remember to always keep an eye on your computer’s performance.

Related: 9 Types Of Malware That May Put Your Data At Risk

 

How To Keep Your Information Safe On Black Friday & Cyber Monday

How To Keep Your Information Safe On Black Friday & Cyber Monday

Black Friday & Cyber Monday Survival Guide

Thinking of spending Black Friday on the couch this year instead of camping out at your local Walmart? Well then, you probably already know that most retailers are expanding their in-store Black Friday deals to include their online stores as well. But before you decide to do all your holiday shopping online, there are a few things you should do to ensure your information is well protected. Here are a few tips to help get you started.

Use A Reputable Payment Service

How To Keep Your Information Safe On Black Friday & Cyber Monday
Payment service providers make online shopping safer and less of a hassle

There are many payment service providers on the market today. Some of the most popular ones include Paypal, Apple Pay, Mastercard’s Masterpass, and Visa Checkout. There are many reasons why you should consider using one of these services. The most important one being; you don’t have to enter your credit card information every time you buy from a new website. The payment service will essentially act as your credit card, ensuring that your information stays safe even in the event of a future data breach. In addition to this, using these services will make it far easier to purchase from multiple sites. You won’t have to take the time to enter your credit card information, you just log into your payment service account and checkout.

Shop On Safe & Secure Websites

How To Keep Your Information Safe On Black Friday & Cyber Monday
Before you enter any personal information, make sure the website you’re on is secure

One of the most important tips to follow while shopping online is to ensure that the site you are purchasing from is legitimate. Before you even make it onto the payment page, look for signs that the website is secured. You can verify the security of a website by looking in the top left corner of your web browser. Search for a green padlock to the left of the address bar, or for the HTTPS attached to the URL. Finding either of these will let you know that the website you’re currently on is secure.

Proceed With Caution

How To Keep Your Information Safe On Black Friday & Cyber Monday
Be vigilant and keep a lookout for anything suspicious this holiday season

While shopping online this holiday season, be on the look out for fake retailer apps, email scams, and “too good to be true” offers. Each year, scams such as these flood the internet, hoping to cash in on shopping craze. If you choose to go the app route, make sure you download it through your smartphone’s official app store. The majority of apps you’ll find here are safe to download, however, you should still make sure it’s official. Look for misspellings in both the title of the app and on the description page, as these are potential signs of a fake app.

This same tip applies to spam emails which are commonplace throughout the Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend. These emails are filled with incredible deals that are designed to peak the interest of whoever opens them. Do not be fooled however, these fraudulent emails are designed to entice you to click their many links. Once you click through the email, you will be lead to a fake website designed to steal your information. There are a few things you can do to spot these fake emails. For one, most of them will be filled with misspellings. You can also hover your mouse over any links in the email to see their destination. If the URL seems to be suspicious, avoid clicking through any of the links on the email.

These few tips should help you secure your information this shopping season. Do you have any tips you would like to see included in this article? Let us know by leaving a comment.

Related: How To Secure Your Connected Devices And Personal Information

 

 

 

Here’s How You Can Protect Your Social Media Accounts

Here’s How You Can Protect Your Social Media Accounts

Protecting Your Social Media Accounts

In today’s connected world, social media has become a major part of our lives. In fact, the majority of adults in the US use social media on a daily basis. Unfortunately, not everyone uses social media for catching up with friends and sharing cat videos. Whether it be hackers trying to remotely access your information, or a suspicious partner hoping to catch a cheater in the act, social media is usually the first place they turn to as well.

With so much of our personal information being uploaded and shared on these social media platforms, how can we be sure that our information is secure? In truth, the only way to completely secure your information would be to refrain from uploading it in the first place. That being said, there are some ways you can protect the data you deem appropriate to put online. Here are a few helpful tips.

Secure Your Logins

Here's How You Can Protect Your Social Media Accounts
Securing your login information is the first step in protecting your online accounts

Setting up your login credentials in a secure way is going to be your first line of defense against the most common online threats. During account creation, most platforms will ask to use your email address as your username. While this isn’t a security risk on its own, using the same email address or account name across multiple platforms can be.  To combat this, try using a separate username and password for each of your social media accounts. That way, if one of your accounts is hacked, you can be sure that the rest are safe.

Password strength is another factor to consider while you’re securing your social media accounts. Most social media platforms will provide security tips or grade you on the strength of your password. These requirements, while somewhat useful, are based upon old guidelines that aren’t as effective today. Instead of following these guidelines, try using long phrases containing random words for your passwords. This will not only help you create a strong password, but it will also make that password far easier to remember.

Two-Factor Authentication

Here's How You Can Protect Your Social Media Accounts
Smartphones often use two-factor authentication to help verify in-app purchases

If you feel the need for enhanced security on your social media accounts, you should consider activating two-factor authentication. Just about every social media platform has an option to turn on this security feature. If you’ve never used two-factor authentication before, the process is quite simple. You start by signing into your account as you normally would. After entering the correct information, you will receive a notification on your smartphone. Simply verify your login attempt and you will be granted access to your account. This will prevent anyone signing in on a foreign device from accessing your account.

Are you already following some of these tips? Have a few that you would like to add? Leave a comment for us in the section below!

Related: You Are Being Watched: How Harvard Used Social Media Monitoring To Rescind 10 Student Admissions

 

Can Two Factor Authentication Replace The Need For Passwords?

Can Two Factor Authentication Replace The Need For Passwords?

The Problem With Passwords

Think back to the last online account you’ve created. Whether it was for a new social media platform or an online forum, chances are you were asked to create a password. A common misconception about passwords is that they need to contain random numbers and special characters to be considered “strong.” In fact, most websites won’t even let you finish creating an account until your password is strong enough. In reality though, following these password recommendations could result in an easy to crack password. Now, security researchers are suggesting the use of long phrases as a replacement, however, there is still an issue with this as well.

While remembering a single, long phrase is easy to do, trying to remember a separate one for each of your online accounts can become confusing. And if you choose to use the same phrase for each of your online accounts, you’ll be putting them all at risk in the event of another data breach. Luckily, passwords are not the only way to secure online accounts.

Can Two Factor Authentication Replace The Need For Passwords?
Would you consider using alternative methods of account verification over passwords?

Biometrics As A Password Replacement

Biometric scanning is a relatively new alternative to the standard password. And thanks to popular smartphones such as the iPhone X and Galaxy S8, biometric scanning has gone mainstream. From fingerprint readers to facial recognition software, there are multiple ways in which you can choose to protect your devices as well as your online accounts.

Biometric scans are not without their own faults however. For instance, this past week a flight from Doha to Bali was grounded after a woman discovered her husband had been cheating on her. How did she find out? She had used her husband’s finger to unlock his smartphone while he was sleeping. While that’s certainly one way to catch a cheater, it does raise some concerns about the use of biometric scanning as the primary way to access sensitive information.

The Fast Identity Online Alliance

What we need is a way to combine the convenience of biometric scanning with stronger security. This is where the FIDO (Fast Identity Online) Alliance comes in. The FIDO Alliance is an authentication standard that is quickly growing in popularity among the world’s tech giants. Adopted by Android and iOS devices, along with popular browsers such as Firefox and Google Chrome, the FIDO Alliance looks to enhance the standard username and password experience. They offer multiple authentication options, including password-less login and second-factor verification. The password-less experience allows you to use your preferred biometric scan (usually done through your smartphone) as a way to access your online accounts.

But if you’re truly concerned about the security of your online accounts, you can use FIDO’s two factor authentication process instead. This authentication method takes account security to the next level by adding a USB security key to the login process. That way if someone were to try and remotely access your accounts, they would require your physical USB security key to do so.

What is your take on the future of the password? Do you think biometric scanning is strong enough to replace passwords altogether? Let us know below!

Related: Does The iPhone X Face ID Pose A Security Threat?

 

Top 4 Hidden Vulnerabilities In Your Wifi Connection

Top 4 Hidden Vulnerabilities In Your Wifi Connection

Top 4 Hidden Vulnerabilities In Your Wifi Connection

The average internet user knows that not all wifi networks are secure. If they’re smart about it, they already have done a review of security software to be certain their computer is safe from a hacked network. However, aside from a weak password, what are the potential hidden vulnerabilities in your wifi connection?

 

Here are 4 vulnerabilities in your wifi connection that you probably didn’t know about:

 

1. Default or shared password

Although the SSID and password that your network came with might seem randomized and, thus, more secure, skilled hackers will be able to crack into your system much easier than if you were to change them to something more personalized. Using a password randomizer is the best way to go about this, but if you don’t think you’ll be able to remember what it is, be sure it’s saved in a safe place.

 

2. Unsecured hardware

Top 4 Hidden Vulnerabilities In Your Wifi Connection

If someone can physically mess with your hardware, they can interrupt or corrupt your wifi connection. Furthermore, many users leave the SSID and password taped to the side or bottom of the router. If your modem and router aren’t locked away in a secured location, you run the risk of having your information stolen.

 

3. Not using enterprise mode

Enterprise mode is much more secure for those with more than one user than traditional WPS pin authentication is. For starters, pin authentication is easier to crack and allows hackers to decode the password. However, enterprise mode is also protected against internal user spying. This means users already connected to the network cannot spy on the wireless traffic of others.

 

4. Automatic connection to neighboring networks

Top 4 Hidden Vulnerabilities In Your Wifi Connection

If your wifi connection isn’t the greatest and often lags or takes a long time to connect, users may instead automatically connect to nearby public networks. If this occurs, they may be accidentally hooking up to a false or hacked network that will steal their data. Always be sure you have a data recovery software like DDI Utilities installed in case this happens accidentally. Furthermore, if the users connects to an alternate network, the users on the other network will have the ability to snoop on that computer’s traffic and private files. This can be especially detrimental for business computers.

 

Especially for corporations, securing your wifi network is vital to keeping your private information safe from harm. These vulnerabilities are the lesser known ones, but if you’re struggling to protect your wifi at a basic level, check out our related post: 7 Ways To Create A Secure Password And Protect Your Data

7 Ways To Create A Secure Password And Protect Your Data

7 Ways To Create A Secure Password And Protect Your Data

7 Ways To Create A Secure Password And Protect Your Data

With all the reports of websites and computers being hacked these days, it’s important to ensure your data is protected with the most secure passwords possible. You certainly don’t want anyone to be able to access your financial information in CreditSesame.com or messages from matches in your Sugardaddie.com account. Many people struggle with password generation and end up creating something generic that is easy to crack. If you are someone who needs help finding ways to create a secure password, we’ve got you covered.

 

Here are 7 ways to create a strong, secure password for optimal data protection:

 

1. Make it as long as possible

The longer your password is, the harder it is for a hacker to crack. Most experts recommend a minimum of 8 characters, but more than that is ideal.

 

2. Use a mix of characters

7 Ways To Create A Secure Password And Protect Your Data

If your password consists of only letters or only numbers, it provides less potential combinations for a hacker to decode–thus, it’s easier to steal your information! Always include at least 1 letter, 1 number, and 1 special character like an ampersand (&), asterisk (*), or dollar sign ($). The goal is to make it as difficult as possible for someone to guess what you’ve chosen.

 

3. Do not reuse old passwords

As time goes on, encryption technology becomes increasingly secure. So a site that you signed up for 10 years ago will be less safe than a site you sign up for today. That being said, now the older site is easier to hack into, and your information is at risk! If the hacker then tries to get into your other accounts and you are still using the same password, they will have no difficulty accessing your important and private data. This is why it is so imperative that you use different passwords and change them over time.

 

4. Opt for multi-factor protection

7 Ways To Create A Secure Password And Protect Your Data

Some websites will allow you to choose multiple methods of protection for your account. If you have the option, always go for 2 or more factors. This may include a standard password coupled with a CAPTCHA system, fingerprint scanner (for mobile devices), text message verification code, or a security question. This is especially important for companies that house your sensitive information like online banks or your student loan servicer.

 

5. Use the strength analyzer

Many sites will tell you how strong your password is as you type it in when creating your account. Utilize this feature! If it says your password is weak, it is. Make sure your password is the highest level of difficulty. If the site doesn’t have this included, you can use a third party site to analyze it for you.

 

6. Store them safely

If you’re following our tips thus far, you now have a different password for each account. Realistically, these are going to be difficult for you to remember. Writing them down is likely the easiest solution, but it’s not the most secure. Read security software reviews to find a program that will save your password information in an encrypted, protected file that no one else can access.

 

7. Keep it to yourself

7 Ways To Create A Secure Password And Protect Your Data

Last, but not least, always remember to keep your passwords to yourself. Don’t share them with anyone, even the people you trust most. The more people that know your password, the higher the likelihood of your data being at risk.

 

Consider these tips the next time you sign up for an account somewhere. And if you’re in violation of any of them, go back and change your passwords. Don’t take the chance of losing important information or having your data stolen due to something that is easily preventable!

 

There are many scammers out there looking to steal your password information under false pretenses. Keep yourself safe by checking out our related post: 4 Signs For Recognizing An Email Scam

6 Symptoms Of An Infected Computer

6 Symptoms Of An Infected Computer

6 Symptoms Of An Infected Computer

Without installing a top antivirus software, your computer is at risk for viruses, malware, hacking, and all kinds of suspicious activity. So if your device isn’t protected, how can you know if you’ve got a computer virus?

 

Here are the 6 most common symptoms of an infected computer:

 

1. Slow speed

Both the internet and your computer itself will significantly slow down if you’ve got a virus. This can happen because the attacker has uploaded a large application or multiple malicious files to your computer, bogging it down with excess data. It can also be that the purpose of the virus is to slow down your system enough that the hacker can obtain your private information.

 

2. The Blue Screen of Death

6 Symptoms Of An Infected Computer

Especially on older systems, the Blue Screen of Death would appear when crashing to inform you that there is a technical error. This error is typically caused by malware altering or overloading the computer and preventing it from starting up properly. These days, the actual blue screen is less common, but if your computer or any specific applications are regularly crashing, you are most likely dealing with an infection.

 

3. Low disk space

If you’ve never had a storage space issue in the past and aren’t excessively downloading or creating files, you shouldn’t have any problems with this. So when you get a message telling you your disk space is low, be suspicious. This is possibly due to the unwarranted loading of files or applications onto your system by hackers and viruses. Some people incorrectly attribute this to an antivirus software. However, that will not be the culprit here, especially if you use a cloud-based system like Panda Global Protection.

 

4. Excessive toolbars

6 Symptoms Of An Infected Computer

When you install something from an unknown source, it can result in the addition of toolbars and extra search bars to your default browser. These are usually just a front for the real, malware-carrying application that is being transferred to your computer.

 

5. Strange messages or pop-ups

6 Symptoms Of An Infected Computer

Pop-ups are a normal part of surfing the web. Most websites will have pop-up advertisements on them, but this doesn’t mean you should click on them without caution. And if you’re getting pop-ups and unsolicited messages on the device itself without the browser being open, it’s likely due to a virus.

 

6. Disappearing files

If you ever think to yourself, “Hey, where did my files go?” this is a huge red flag for a computer infection. Your files will never just hide themselves on their own. The most probable explanation is that your computer has been the target of an attack. Hopefully, you will have a backup plan to retrieve your lost files, but if not you should be looking up data recovery software reviews to find something that will assist you if this sort of thing ever happens with your device.

 

The best way to prevent ever having to diagnose your computer with a virus is to be proactive. Install an antivirus or security software to your computer, tablet, and cell phone to ensure you never have to deal with this problem again.

If you’re worried about the content of your emails potentially being a source of viruses or malware, read our related post: 4 Signs For Recognizing An Email Scam

You Are Being Watched: How Harvard Used Social Media Monitoring To Rescind 10 Student Admissions

You Are Being Watched: How Harvard Used Social Media Monitoring To Rescind 10 Student Admissions

You Are Being Watched: How Harvard Used Social Media Monitoring To Rescind 10 Student Admissions

Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter can be a great outlet for sharing things with your friends and family, making connections, and reading interesting articles (like this one!). However, it’s not all fun and games. Despite monitoring your friends list, nothing you post to social media is ever truly private. Many people have learned this the hard way over the years. Employers are firing employees over inappropriate posts. Human resources departments are scouring profiles to judge the potential character of job applicants and candidates. Now, even colleges are turning to social media monitoring to keep tabs on their students, both current and prospective.

In fact, repercussions for inappropriate actions on social media have gotten worse. Most recently is the news of Harvard rescinding the admission of 10 newly admitted students after they engaged in lewd conversation and meme-sharing in a Harvard admitted students Facebook group. What the students believed to be a private, friendly banter in an attempt to impress their peers ended up turning their dreams into nightmares. After going through the exciting process of announcing their acceptance to a top Ivy League college, maybe even combing through financial software reviews to help stay on top of their impending tuition payments, they then had to bear the shame of being rejected before even setting foot on campus.

It has been disclosed that their group chat within the Facebook page included instances of racism, anti-semitism, and general bigotry. Little did they know, the school officials were watching and taking action.

 You Are Being Watched: How Harvard Used Social Media Monitoring To Rescind 10 Student Admissions

This is not the only instance of colleges rejecting students based on their interactions on social media. If you aren’t careful with what you post, share, like, and follow, you just might end up in a similar situation.

Social media isn’t the only source that’s being monitored. Your entire online presence is vulnerable to judgment, from your book review blog to the heart rate statistics you uploaded from your Fitbit last week. Everything you do has the potential of landing in the public eye, so be mindful online no matter which digital platform you’re using.

 

To learn more about protecting your internet presence, read our related post:
4 Things That Can Affect Your Online Reputation.

4 Things That Can Affect Your Online Reputation

4 Things That Can Affect Your Online Reputation

4 Things That Can Affect Your Online Reputation

For businesses and individuals alike, search results can reveal a lot. Just as you wouldn’t want someone saying negative things about you to the people in the neighborhood, you don’t want negative comments to be posted or ideas to be formed about you (or your company) based on information that is available to internet users worldwide. Protect yourself and ensure your digital exposure is a positive one by understanding what aspects make a difference.

 

Here are 4 things that can affect your online reputation:

 

1. Social media posts

Even if you, yourself, are careful with your privacy settings on social media sites like Facebook or Twitter, you have little to no control over what is posted about you by others. If you run a company, this can mean Facebook reviews by consumers. If you’re an individual, it means that video of you killing the beer pong competition at a frat party last weekend may have been posted by a party-goer for everyone to see. Look out for these posts so you can take action towards addressing any issues or having the offending items removed.

 

2. Published content

4 Things That Can Affect Your Online Reputation

For companies especially, publishing content such as blog posts or press releases can help stifle any negative search results. Using a software such as SEO Powersuite will help you to build links that positively affect your ranking, as bad links are also a major source of a negative internet presence. For the average Joe, anything that you publish to your blog or submit to other sites is recorded. Make sure the things you post are things that you will still be proud to have representing you years down the line.

 

3. Public record

Have a felony? Filed for bankruptcy? These details are public information that can be found by anyone with an inkling of solid googling skills. There is no real way to avoid these aside from not doing them in the first place. If they’re already out there for the world to see, you’ll want to work on managing your reputation to hide the results from immediate view.

 

4. Photos

4 Things That Can Affect Your Online Reputation

Search engines don’t only show written results for you or your organization. There’s also an images tab, which shows any photograph even remotely related to your name. Even if you aren’t the one that posted the image, it may still have a tag or keyword associated with it that links back to you or your company. Sometimes, these photos are even linked to spam that can erase data from your computer when you click on it, which is even worse since you are now associated with malware.

 

The first step in preventing this issue from arising is to make sure your devices are protected by reading reviews for data recovery software and choosing one that’s right for your system. The second step is contacting the domain hosts and getting them to remove the harmful content. If that doesn’t work, your best bet is always to do a little bit of SEO recon to bury the negative images with positive or neutral ones of your own.

 

Your online reputation has a lot more weight in these times than it ever did before. In fact, it may even be more important than your reputation amongst the small circle of people you know personally. Remember these ideas when you are doing anything online to ensure your search results are ones that you would be proud for your grandmother to see when you teach her all about “The Google.”

Related Post: How To Safely Browse The Internet

4 Signs For Recognizing An Email Scam

4 Signs For Recognizing An Email Scam

Email phishing, the practice of scamming users with a fake email in order to obtain private or secure information, is not always caught by your provider’s spam folder. Each year, attackers improve at avoiding the various firewalls and safety nets that are meant to prevent them from achieving their malicious goals. You can no longer rely solely on email providers to do the work for you. It’s important to be vigilant about the various hints that suggest an email may be from a false source.

 

Here are 4 signs for recognizing an email scam:

 

1. Poor spelling or grammar.

Reputable companies always do their due diligence when it comes to hiring employees. Spelling and grammar standards are high, especially for the individuals that write their content or deal in customer service. Any legitimate email from a reputable company will be flawlessly edited. Of course, human error is always a possibility, but if mistakes are frequent or flagrant the sender most likely is not who he says he is.

 

2. Asking for money or personal information.

Any company you hold an account with knows your personal information and will not solicit this (or monetary compensation) from you via email. Sometimes attackers will pretend to be someone you know, like a family member needing money for an emergency or a friend sending a funny attachment that actually contains ransomware. Ransomware can hold your entire computer hostage, so without a data recovery program like Acronis True Image or DDI Utilities you will be unable to regain access to any of your files. Never give out this information or click on anything that you are unsure of without contacting the sender directly through another method. If it’s your bank, call the customer service line to verify. If it’s your family member, call them first to ensure they are the one who sent you the message.

 

3. Irrelevant email address.

The email address of the sender is another clue to the validity of an email source, but an often overlooked one. Be sure to check that the address is relevant to the company. For example, an email from an employee at Microsoft will have an address of personsname@microsoft.com. If the address is something irrelevant like microsoft@money4u.net, it will definitely not be from someone at that company.

 

4. Unsolicited and unfamiliar contact.

If you ever get an email that makes you think, “Hm, I can’t remember registering for this” do not ignore that feeling! This is a common first sign for an email scam that many users brush aside. If you don’t remember signing up for it, you probably didn’t, and you should use that feeling to prompt you to be alert for other signs of phishing. It is rare for a company to make first contact with a user. It’s even rarer for said company to link to an external site asking you to download something or provide personal information, so beware of this!

 

Thousands of people every day lose personal data from their computers by falling prey to these vicious scams. Check out some reviews for data recovery software to find a program that will help protect your files in case your “scammy senses” fail to tingle.

 

Good luck and stay vigilant!
Related post: 5 Types of Digital Threats To Beware Of And How To Prevent Them