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Viruses, and Spam, and Phishing… OH MY!

It seems there never is an end to the amount of malicious or even just annoying online occurrences such as virus infections, spam messages and phishing scams trying to steal your bank account info… For instance, on average… In just one days time, Crossroads Realty blocks about 8,000 spam messages, 175 viruses, and 125 phishing scams for its 350 email users…

Viruses…

Obviously virus infections are the highest priority to the IT Dept, and rightly so. After all, a widespread virus infection could shut down the entire company and that would hurt everyone involved. Luckily there are many counter-measures in place to prevent a “widespread” infection but there still are a number of small outbreaks from time to time. Sometimes due to a malfunctioning computer and sometimes due to a personal computer that does not have any virus protection. One thing that should be taken note of is that an expired anti-virus is just as bad as not having any anti-virus at all and this is the main cause of problems for the IT Dept. If I ever do encounter an unprotected computer I immediately suggest the individual at least download the free for “personal use” antivirus called AVG, it can be downloaded from the GRIsoft website for free. But in the end, it all comes down to the users themselves… The habit of NOT clicking on unsolicited emails can be worth more than all the anti-virus in the world put together.

and Spam…

I can not count the amount of times that somebody has asked me to stop the spam emails from filling their inbox. This is a problem, not just for Crossroads, but for the Internet in general. There is a never ending battle silently taking place between spammers and the companies that develop anti-spam technologies. But, no matter how many companies out there develop a better mouse trap, guess what… there will still be mice in the world. Until the time where spam is outlawed or eliminated I will have to rely on my trusted old “Delete” key as the final line of defense.

Last thing of note for spam messages is that is not recommended that you EVER click on ANY links found in the spam email itself! Not even the “remove me from the list” links that seem so innocent and helpfull. Those links are lying, most do not remove you from any such “list” but in fact do just the opposite! By clicking on ANY links inside a spam email, you are verifying that you are in fact a real person who checks their email and you will get even more spam in the future. For more info on “Remove Me” links, click HERE. For more info on spam in general, please visit a page that I wrote up on the Crossroads Portal.

and Phishing…

These scams are most commonly the emails that you get claiming to be from your bank. Some of these scams that I saw a few months back were from Chase Bank, or should I say eledgedly from Chase Bank. Now, since I don’t have an account of any kind with Chase, it was fairly obvious that this email was a fake. But, what if I did have an account with Chase?.. I might be inclined to respond to the email by clicking on the nice little link they provided me, the email states that this would allow me to log in to my account on the Chase website and fix whatever “urgent” problem they are telling me about… Or so it seams! This is the common phishing scam scenario… They are trying to get you to visit a website that is not legit in any way, it is just setup to “feel” like the actual website from Chase. Once you click on that link and enter your account info they have got you! They now know your user name and password and can do pretty much anything they want with your finances from that point on. They will leave you in the dark the whole time, you will finally exit the website with a false sense of security thinking you have just fixed a potentially horrible problem while they laugh at your misfortune.

The safe thing to do with emails from your bank or credit card is… Go to their website on your own and then login to your account. Do NOT click on any links inside of the email ever, what I am advising is to actually type their website name into your web browser and log in to the site how you normally would and you will be much better off.

OH MY!

Read my other article: “How To” Avoid Spam for more information about Spam specifically.

About the author

RJ Ponzio

RJ founded Shore Web Tech LLC in 2011. The mission of Shore Web Tech (SWT) is to help small and medium local businesses take advantage of today's affordable technology solutions. RJ currently holds Google's "AdWords Qualified Individual" certification.

2 comments

  1. Janice Marciano

    RJ … very informative … thay you for the advice … Janice

  2. Toni Mallow

    Thanks for the info, RJ.

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