Internet scams are an ever-increasing concern on the web as more and more of them begin to show up and have affected many computer users.
An important thing to note regarding internet scams is that Microsoft will never make, or prompt for, unsolicited phone calls to help fix your computer. Any pop up you see that impersonates Microsoft telling you to call a number to resolve an ‘urgent’ issue or remove a virus will be fake. The dangers of letting someone remote onto your computer can be severe and the scammer will have full access to your machine and possibly your network, meaning they can do but aren’t limited to the following:
- Install malicious software that can steal sensitive data. This includes any passwords, credit card numbers, emails, and other confidential data you have stored on your machine.
- Permanently lock you out of your machine making future data access impossible without reinstalling the operating system.
- Impersonate legitimate IT support companies and bill you for fraudulent services
Calling the numbers on these scam pop ups will more than likely result in you talking with someone pushing for remote access. In order to preserve the reputation of yourself and the company you work for, it is important to only grant remote access to approved persons and IT vendors.
If you find that the pop up has locked out your browser, you can take the following steps on a Windows machine to close the windows.
- Hit CTRL, ALT, and the DELETE keys on your keyboard
- Select ‘Task Manager’
- You will see a list of running applications. Select the browser you are using and press the delete key or the ‘End Task’ button.
If this does not solve your issue we can always be reached via phone at 616-844-0245 and online at our website icsdata.com via chat and we will assist you.
Internet scams can also come in the form of emails. Recently there has been an increase in what is called a spear-phishing email. These are typically directed at people in your organization that have access to the organization’s various finances. The information is obtained in various ways, including on the organizations website.
The attempt is then sent using an expendable email account, with the display name value of a trusted contact (CEO, CFO, etc…). The email address may also resemble that of a trusted friend so before you click a link make sure you were expecting that link or confirm with whomever may be trying to send you an email. We have anti-spam checks in place that catch attempts to impersonate actual email addresses. We can’t filter out this type as there is no reliable method of filtering emails on the Display Name field.
The best thing to do is to create procedures when it comes to financial requests via email, such as face to face verification; vocal verification; etc.