Hello Everyone! Carmine Corridore of Underdog Computer and Network Support! Back with another video blog. This week I will be teaching you about PHISHING! This is part 1 of my 3 part educational series on keeping safe on the internet.
Let’s get started!
Oh you thought I meant actual fishing, well close! Lets start with what is Phishing, as the homonym implies it is a way for a hacker to “Fish” for information using social engineering and human behavior to get information about you that allows the hacker to gain access to something. Most of the Times it is bank account information, passwords, credit card information, etc..
So how does it work, how do they fool you so easily? Don’t feel bad about phishing, 76% of organizations say they were effected by some kind of phishing scam in 2017 and that number is rising. That is why it is important for you to be aware of how to recognize phishing and how to avoid it.
A Phishing attach can occur in different formats, the earliest of the phishing scams were those emails coming from the famous Nigerian Prince. There were several of them but the concept was always the same, it included a large sum of money he had but for some reason needed your help to transfer funds into your bank account, so all he needed was your banking information. Straightforward right?
That wasn’t too sophisticated but it was early on in the age of the internet so it was easier to fool people. People became wise, so hackers changed up their play. Now Phishing comes in all different types of emails. There is my favorite you get an email from your boss or supervisor they need you to run to the store for them and pick up hundreds of dollars of Itunes gift cards for some reason and then when you get back email the card numbers. But don’t bother confirming this in person with me because I am in a meeting. For this type of phishing scam. Its vague enough because it probably has your boss or supervisors email address or name, and it lends to credibility because they probably are in a meeting. Once you email those gift card numbers that’s it your money is gone.
Then there are the straight up emails from trusted sources like Amazon, Apple, UPS, Microsoft, Google, Fed Ex and my favorite IRS.
They will use the very accessible and famous logos of the company they are trying to impersonate, make it sound as official as possible with just enough social engineering to convince you. Either there is an attached document or in most cases a link that takes you to a website in an attempt to further harm your computer. Some will ask you for credit card or banking information.
Ok, so what do you do? Well it takes some careful habits and common sense. Don’t just respond to the email or click links or open attachments and good god don’t go out and buy those gift cards! Then think about it did you send out a package recently that fedex or ups is contacting you? Do you have a Microsoft or Google account? The IRS and I repeat the IRS will never email you. Second look closely at the email, something will be off about it. Look at the return email address is it the same domain as where it is coming from. For instance is it from Microsoft.com or IRS.gov or ups.com, chances are it is some random generated email account name. Hover your mouse over the name it will reveal the full email address. You can also click reply, which usually will reveal the name. If there is a hyperlink it wants you to click on, again hover your mouse over it and you will see where it wants you to go. Does it make sense is it the companies domain or again some random domain address. Last but not least if you get an email with some kind of attachment be it from someone you know or a trusted company. Ask yourself if you are expecting it. If you are not sure and that person is reachable by phone. Call them or sometimes I will send a fresh email to that person asking them if they meant to send the questionable email.
When in doubt, ask your I.T. professional. Here at Underdog we have trained our customers on these techniques and when in doubt they will reach out to me when they have a questionable email and I will instruct them on what is best to do and sometimes I will reach out to the source myself to follow up. At Underdog Computer and Network Support we believe an educated customer is our strongest ally in combating viruses and malware and keeping everyone safe. If your I.T. provider isn’t doing this for you give us a call.
Underdog Computer and Network Support! Never Fear, We Fix I.T. here! And come back next week for part 2 Viruses and Malware