Internet Security, Spam Emails and Phishing Messages

Posted by Kevin Maguire on Mar 18, 2015

internet securityby Kevin Maguire

The Graniterock Information Services team has noticed a recent increase in the problem of spam and phishing emails and phone calls which attempt to steal user information. A Graniterock Team Member recently reported a caller claiming to be from “Microsoft”. The caller told our Team Member his computer had been hacked, but for a fee of $99 Microsoft tech support would remotely repair the computer. This computer was purchased through our Company’s home computer purchase program, so before doing anything he wisely asked us for advice.

Beware of any caller claiming to be from Microsoft or any other company wanting to help you with your hacked computer. Companies like Microsoft, McAfee or Norton will never call to let you know your computer is infected. It might be great (but scary!!!) if those companies were like “Big Brother” and could know if you were hacked. In reality, this type of call is simply an attempt to steal your personal and credit card information. Authentic companies don’t know your personal information and do not monitor every computer. The local software program installed within your computer does the monitoring and will notify you when you have a problem.

Spam and phishing emails are also a big concern. These emails may claim to be from DHL, FedEx, UPS, Paypal, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, you name it - the list goes on and on. Anytime you are asked to click on a link or re-enter your credit card or user information, use extreme caution! If you are not expecting a shipment or banking transaction, be especially wary. A good first step is to use your mouse to hover over any hyperlink. Before clicking you can see where the link it is trying to point and discover whether the link is valid.

When you get an impersonal email sent to many people with nothing but a hyperlink in it, do not click on it! This is usually a spam link that will infect your computer. The same thing goes with “free” offers you might see telling you to click on a photo or go to a website. This can give you a computer virus, steal your information, and put your computer out of commission.

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