phishing

5 Ways to Help Your Business Be More Cyber-safe! | Chilliwack & Abbotsford IT Support

October is Cyber Security Awareness Month, and the need for awareness has never been higher! The stats are alarming...

stats about cyber security threats

For businesses, the situation is just as scary.

50% of small businesses don't think that they will be targets of cyber crime.

BUT 40% of all cyber attacks in 2011 were on small to medium sized businesses.

The cost of cybercrime is about to reach $6 TRILLION, with no signs of slowing down!!

Put simply, EVERYONE is a target for cyber crime - the bad guys are not picky about size of business or the industry. As with so many things in life, prevention is much better than cure... but in the business world, cyber crime prevention can save hassle, time AND a LOT of money.

This month, we are sharing tips and advice here and on our Facebook Page ... but to start, here are 5 ways you can help make your business a #cybersafebusiness !

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1. Secure personal devices. Personal devices allow us to do business "on the road", but limit how much you use them, avoid public wifi for work use when you can, and make sure employees follow a security policy.

2. Train employees on the threats. If your staff are online at your business, include training on the latest threats, such as email scams, viruses, phishing and malware.

3. Teach smart clicking. Make yourself, and your staff, familiar with what a suspicious link and email looks like. Things to look out for include hyphens, numbers, spelling mistakes and symbols replacing regular characters. (We have a blog post illustrating some ways to safely spot bad links.)

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4. Use strong passwords. Make your passwords obscure, long and a good mix of uppercase, lowercase, numbers and symbols. Use different passwords for different places and do not write them on scraps of paper where they can be taken or copied.

5. A have a good plan in place for when employees leave. When an employee leaves, make sure their account passwords are changed immediately, and documents are secure.

To celebrate Cyber Security Awareness Month, and to help give local businesses a leg-up on getting #cybersafe, we are offering 30% off our Tech Health Check-ups!  These check-ups do cover way more than just your security vulnerabilities. We look at all of your technology and the way you use it, to see where you can avoid future problems, and find out how you can work smarter while saving money.

Is Tech Fraud Getting Worse? | Abbotsford & Chilliwack Tech Security Consultants

email fraud stats

Tech Fraud IS on the rise and no-one is safe! A quarterly report was recently released that looked at who tech scams are targeting… and the results were both interesting and a little scary.

Overall, the summer saw a 25% rise in the number of email fraud attacks on targeted companies, but what is scarier is that also meant a whopping rise of 85% on the same quarter last year!

DANGEROUS EMAILS ON THE RISE

The amount of malicious emails, appearing in inboxes rose by 36% on the previous quarter. Among all that nasty stuff, 11% were ransomware emails.

WHAT IS RANSOMWARE?

It is a particularly devious scheme where you will be sent an innocent looking email containing a link or file. That file, when clicked, releases a virus that locks you out of all your data. You then receive an email demanding payment for your data’s release – often in bitcoin or other electronic funds. The ransom amount can vary, but typically costs a company thousands of dollars.

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TECH SUPPORT FRAUD IS GROWING FAST

One of the most famous forms of tech fraud, is (surprisingly) now also the biggest growing one – the good ‘ole Technical Support Fraud! (The one where you receive a call from a thick-accented individual in a noisy call-centre, claiming to be something like Microsoft Windows). Given the amount of publicity and public education that this form of fraud has attracted (not to mention a slew of YouTube videos with people winding up these scammers), it is surprising to see it is still growing, but it is. This quarter’s attacks jumped by 36%... which gives an astounding 400% increase on the same period a year ago!!

social media fraud security stats

SOCIAL MEDIA IS NOT SAFE

The report also showed that attacks are now coming from more directions than just email and your phone. Social media is gaining its fair share, with the most popular being from “angler phishing”. This is where fraudsters create fake accounts that mimic famous brands. Then when someone has a legitimate customer service requests, they swoop in and pretend to be that brand in order to gather the customer’s information.

Overall, all types of fraud were on the increase, with no discrimination in who they targeted (all career levels) or where they targeted (all industries and all company sizes, with retail and government hit hardest).

HOW CAN WE PROTECT OURSELVES AGAINST TECH FRAUD?

The burning question is how can you protect both yourself and your staff? Preparation is your biggest weapon! Here are a few things to help to get you started…

  • TRAINING - Knowing what to look for and educating all of your staff on what to spot, is the best plan. You can check out one of previous blog posts to see what the telltale signs of a scam email are.

  • BLOCKERS – up-to-date spam filters and virus software can help filter out most of the threats before ever reaching your inboxes.

  • BACK-UPS – a regular back-up of all your data means far less downtime (if any) and huge cost savings in the case of a ransomware attack. You don’t have to buy back that information if you already have another copy somewhere else!

You can see the rest of the report, including more stats on the different targeted departments and industries, here. If you would like more information on how to protect your company’s systems, whether it is a good virus software and back-up solutions or staff awareness training, you can contact us at Wild Frog Systems, and we will be happy to help! Email info@wildfrogsystems.com or call 778-771-0184.

How to Spot a Phishing Email | Chilliwack Computer & Network Support

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Once upon a time, not so long ago, it was easy to spot one of those scary “phishing” emails. They were very plain looking (only text), full of spelling mistakes, and a total field day for anyone who loves to correct basic grammar! So, the email-receiving public got better at spotting them. Yay for us!

However, the “phishermen” didn’t just go away. They have kept going, frantically casting their lines, sending millions of messages, to whatever addresses they can find, in the hope that they will still get just a few bites. And since we’ve got smarter, the “phishermen” have upped their game!

Now their emails come with all the bells and whistles – logos, officially-looking names and titles, and well-written, official-looking text. So how do you spot the fakes from the legit emails? How do you know if it is a “phisher”, or someone has genuinely tried to change your PayPal password and it’s time to do a security update??

Well, here are a couple of flags, that may help, next time you receive a suspicious email…

EMAIL ADDRESS

The first thing you can check is the email address of the person who sent it to you. Sometimes, they will cleverly try to disguise it, by adding an official-looking display name, so at first glance it actually looks like it is from Microsoft Tech Support (or something similar). You need to look beyond that display name and look carefully at the actual email address part. Does it look legit? For example, is it from something like  customersupport@microsoft.com (using the company’s official URL) … or something a little more random like fred@randomblahblahweirdtext.br (clearly, this dude does NOT work at Microsoft!).

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If it’s the latter, delete and move on!

WEB LINKS

So, you think the email address looks ok, but you are still not completely sure. What else can you do?

Well, the next part you can check is to look at the link they want you to click… but WITHOUT CLICKING IT! Sounds a touch dangerous, I know… a little like looking into a Lion’s mouth! However, there is a way of seeing the link address without ever clicking it.

If you just hover your mouse (or touchpad) pointer over the link location, on your screen (NO CLICKING!), you will see a preview of the link address appear in 2 places – one will be in the bottom left corner of your window… and the second will be on a little pop-up by the link itself.

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If that link is shortened to something that just looks like random letters, or any address other than the official URL of that business, delete and move on!

That should pretty much cover it, but if you are still in any doubt, do feel free to contact us and check first, before you get caught hook, line and sinker!