Are you being safe while browsing the web?
We all love the internet. It helps us with so many things, like keeping us up to date on the latest news, learning something new, researching our favorite subject, or watching that funny video of a dog playing with a water hose. Whatever you do on the internet, we are sure security is one of your top priorities, as it should be.
This week we are going to go over some of the dangers to be aware of while surfing the internet:
- HTTPS. If you’ve ever found yourself checking a browser’s URL to see if the site you’re using is secure, you’ve likely noticed a little lock icon in the address bar that tells you if the site you are using is being served up over Hypertext Transfer Protocol or HTTPS for short – meaning that they have a valid SSL certificate to protect any data being transmitted. If you are ever using a site that does not have HTTPS or if it says “Not Secure” in the URL if you are using Chrome, you may want to think twice about entering any personal information.
- Phishing. Phishing is the attempt to try and trick a user into giving up sensitive information. Phishing scams most commonly come in the form of email spoofing, such as trying to impersonate a high profile company like Comcast or Consumers Energy, telling you to pay an overdue bill or they will terminate your service immediately. Scammers do a good job of making these emails look legit, but what is most often a dead giveaway is the email address that it came from. It is normally very close to the company they are trying to impersonate, but there is always something off if you look closely. A good example would be if you received a phishing email from a scammer trying to make it look as if they were from Comcast. The email address will most likely look something like this Billing@C0mcasts.com. At a quick glance it can look quite convincing, but stop and look for a second and it’s a dead giveaway.
- Ransomware. Ransomware may be one of the scariest of all dangers that lurk on the internet. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, ransomware is a hacking attack that encrypts the data on your computer and holds it hostage – demanding you pay a ransom in order to regain access to your machine. The way this is done is normally by a piece of malware called a Trojan. The way the Trojan gets on to the victims computers is normally by the victim themselves installing it unknowingly. Trojans are commonly disguised as legitimate files. Once the Trojan gets on the victims computer, it then runs what is call the “Payload” which contains the ransomware. Once this happens the victim’s computer and all its files will be locked away and encrypted. A couple ways to stay safe from ransomware is to regularly update your PC, perform routine backups of your data, and install a ransom blocker. Be especially careful when clicking on ads, links and attachments in emails as well.
The safety of your computer and data should always be a primary concern for your business. Keeping regular backups and utilizing automatic updates and protection software will go a long way toward protecting your information. And if you have any questions about guarding your systems, we’re always here to help.