Archive for October 2015

Don’t Dial That Number!!!

imageIn back-to-back days last week I had TWO clients call me AFTER calling a number that appeared on their computer screen and allowing strangers to log onto their computer.

How does this happen you ask?  Well usually you go to a compromised web site that plants a little something on your computer, and it could be right then or it could be later that while your on a web page all of a sudden a window pops up telling you that something is wrongs with your computer.  It might say “errors have been detected” or “your computer is infected.”  Fact of the matter is that YOU’RE NOT, but these screens will tell you you’re in danger of losing data or  These pop ups will have a phone number, instructing you to call them to correct the imageproblem.  If you call they will walk you through steps to give them remote access to your computer, after this nothing good will happen for you.  One of my clients has a file with passwords on it – they opened it up!  My client realized something was wrong and turned off the computer, but I’m sure the bad guys got a screen shot of the passwords before being cut off.  Later (before calling me) they turned the computer back on – guess what?  The bad guys logged back onto the computer – TWICE!  I know because I checked the logs before I cleaned it all up.  One time they were on for almost 20 minutes just poking around I’m sure.

So what DO you do instead?  Call me.  You have my number (512-981-7835) and I’ll have you shut down your browser and run a scan with a particular software product to make sure what caused the pop-up isn’t still on your computer.

Think about it this way – if a total stranger just showed up at your front door and said that your kitchen sink has a leak and he was there to fix it, would you let him in?  Then DON’T let a total stranger tell you that something is wrong with your computer and offer to fix it.

I Like Windows 10 But Don’t Upgrade Without Me

Image result for windows 10I’ve had a couple of clients upgrade to Windows 10, have I’ve have to go in to clarify what’s going on and to fix the privacy issues they didn’t know they accepted  when they installed it.

Today, I had a client call because somehow they accidentally installed Windows 10 and now they couldn’t scan to their scanner (this was a business client – so it was important.)

I also read today that Microsoft MAY be more aggressive in getting Windows 10 installed onto existing systems.  Now, I’m not sure that’s true at this time, maybe a coincidence that Windows 10 was “accidentally” installed and I read this article in the same day.

Just wait for me folks.  There’s plenty of time to upgrade.  If you do it yourself, you’re probably saying “yes” to a lot to privacy issues you would say “no” to if I were to ask you, and I’ll show you how to take advantage of the improvements in Windows 10.

You’re my clients, trust me.  Upgrading on your own will probably cost you more that doing it for “free” on your own.

Medicare Scams are Coming

If you qualify for Medicare, be aware that there are phone and email scams coming out since the 15th was the start of open enrollment.  People will claim that Medicare is issuing new cards and needs your Social Security Number in order for you to continue to receive benefits.  NEVER, EVER give out this information to someone who contacts you.  Tell them you’ll contact Medicare directly.  The 24-hour number for Medicare is 1-800-MEDICARE.

Also be careful if you’re contacted by people claiming to be with insurance companies.  If you can’t confirm that they and their company are legitimate, then do tell them anything.

Remember what I say…. “Bad guys lie!”

Check for Those Updates! was the 2nd Tuesday of the month, and if you didn’t notice – Microsoft pushed out some updates for your Windows computer.

It’s also a good time to check for Java as well as Adobe Reader and Flash updates.  Don’t give the bad guys an easy way to get into your computer.  Keep it updated.

Hello? Passwords? Use Different Ones!!!

Another week of security breaches this week.  The Trump hotel system it was recently found was hacked similar to how Target was hacked a year or so ago.  It took a year to discover it, so if you stayed at any Trump properties in the last year, keep an eye on your credit card statements.

15 million T-Mobile customers had information stolen because the hackers got into Experian, who did the credit checks for T-Mobile.  The credit reporting side of Experian was NOT hacked, just the part that does credit checks for in this case, T-Mobile.  It seems they got names, birth dates and SSN’s, so identity theft is an issue here.  T-Mobil is offering a year of credit watch service, ironically offered by Experian (go figure.)

And on Saturday we found out Scottrade was hacked.  Scottrade didn’t even know it, the FBI somehow figured it out and told Scottrade.  It happened between late 2013 and early 2014, so I imagine if you’re a victim, the damage has been done by now.

If you think you may have been affected, contact the credit reporting agencies TransUnion, Experian and Equifax and put a freeze on your credit profile.  That way no new accounts can get opened.

Use a different password at each site you log into, that way if a hacker gets your password to one site, it won’t work at another.  Yes, I know it’s hard, but safety required effort – such is life.

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