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via BBC WebWise

In light of the recent headline news over this past week regarding the ransomware virus attacks in the UK, MCC Computers have put have put together a few tips to help you against the increasing online threats we are witnessing.

Generally speaking we are living in a world where we have all become potential targets through the Internet for Ransomware, Viruses, Malware, Phishing and Scams.  Therefore, it has become increasingly necessary to ensure we are more vigilant, keeping our Computers, Laptops and Internet enabled devices up to date with appropriate Internet security, system updates and security patches.

Some of the key areas we would highlight along with some tips for good practice include:

EMAILS

  • Ensure you check the legitimacy of incoming e-mails.  Be aware of suspicious, unsolicited e-mails arriving.  Indicators may include:-

attachments/links:

This is one of the primary reasons/sources of falling victim and getting infected. DO NOT click on suspicious links within an e-mail or open attachments.

subject:

in genuine e-mails, they will be specific, a virus infected e-mail or one leading to a spurious website/threat may use for example the subject heading “For your immediate attention”, “Review your account details”, “Check this out…”, “Special offer, today only” etc.

content:

the syntax and structure of the email may just not be correct and include incorrect spelling and sentence structure.  Also may use terminology such as “revert back”, “check out this link”, “view more details here” etc.

salutation:

i.e. if it is generic and not personal, i.e. ‘Help Desk’ and ‘Customer Care Team.’

sender:

even though you may recognise the name of the sender, the actual email address could be spurious.  Always check just to be sure.

security details:

Never, ever share your password with someone over e-mail.  Legitimate companies never request credentials/security details by email.

  • If in any doubt whatsoever, immediately delete such e-mails from your Inbox and empty your Deleted Items in your mail software.
  • In the unlikely event you unintentionally open an infected e-mail, immediately shut down your Computer or Laptop and take it to a computer specialist who will remove the underlying threat(s) and check to ensure your system is clear .

WEBSITES

  • When visiting a website, pay attention to the URL (full web address).  Common malicious sites include URLs with IP addresses at the beginning or supposedly secure site that do not use https:// (any website that you are making payments, viewing financial information should always begin with this prefix)

GOOD PRACTICE

  • You should have an up to date (paid for) subscription to a robust Internet Security software.  ‘Free’ versions of security software simply do not cut it and if you are using such software you really are ‘crossing your fingers’ as this is providing only the very basic level of security protection.  You need to ensure your security software protects you with Firewall, Phishing, Malware, Web and Email protection as potential threats can come from any of these channels
  • Also ensure your system is scanned on a weekly basis (good software will have this feature built in automatically) and all portable storage devices (memory sticks, hard drives etc) should be scanned each time they are connected to your Computer or Laptop
  • Do take a moment to routinely open your security program, to ensure it is up to date with the latest virus definitions and to check the most recent scans of the system and removable devices.

If you need someone to talk to about Internet security for your home or business in Ballymena please feel free to call 028 2563 8888 or pop in and talk to us at MCC Computers, Ballymena Business Centre.