Ever receive a popup warning on your computer that warns you that your computer has a virus or malicious software?
If you get a call from someone who claims to be a tech support person, hang up. A caller who creates a sense of urgency or uses high-pressure tactics indicating that your computer has a serious virus is probably a scam artist. Once they have you on the phone, they often try to gain your trust by pretending to be associated with well-known companies (Microsoft, etc.). They may ask you to go to your computer and perform a series of complex tasks. Their tactics are designed to scare you into believing they can help fix your “problem” for a fee.
Once they’ve gained your trust, they may:
- Ask you to give them remote access to your computer and then make changes to your settings that could allow them access to your files or wipe out all the files
- Try to enroll you in a worthless computer maintenance or warranty program
- Ask for credit card information so they can bill you for phony services and use your credit cards for their own use
- Trick you into installing malware that could steal sensitive data, like user names and passwords to access your bank records and other online services
Keep these other tips in mind:
- Never give remote control to anyone you do not know
- Do not rely on caller ID alone to authenticate a caller. They may appear to be calling from a legitimate company or a local number
- Never provide your credit card or financial information to someone who calls and claims to be from tech support, a bank, or the government.
- Never give your password on the phone. No banks, financial institutions. or other online services will ever ask for any personal information
- Register your phone number with the NATIONAL DO NOT CALL REGISTRY, and report illegal sales calls.
So, what’s new? The iPhone SE is a new 4-inch smartphone that offers a smaller and cheaper option to the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus. Apple’s new iPhone SE looks almost identical to the iPhones 5s, but comes with the hardware and capabilities of the 6s. Apple has targeted the phone to consumers who were put off by the size of the 4.7-inch iPhone 6s and 5.5-inch iPhone 6s Plus.
It’s tax time and we all know that income tax identity theft is a major problem. The most common way that income tax identity theft occurs is when the identity thief files an income tax return using his or her victim’s Social Security number along with a counterfeit W-2 that indicates a large refund is due.
In his most recent post, Steven Weisman, writes that “Filing your income tax return electronically can be both safe and convenient if done properly, but it also can be risky as evidenced by a recent study by the Online Trust Alliance, a nonprofit Internet Security firm which found that six of the thirteen companies used in the IRS Free File program had significant security issues that included failures to properly encrypt data.”
To read his entire post on Scamicide,com which offers tips on how you can make your electronic filing more secure, CLICK HERE.
Steve has been a guest on my BlogTalkRadio program several times discussing personal identity theft. To listen to my discussion with Steve about how to minimize your risk of income tax identity fraud, click on the BlogTalkRadio logo below.
No need to carry two mobile phones with you, one for business and the other for personal use.
Sideline is the FREE phone solution for anyone who needs a second phone line. The idea is that your smartphone is your personal phone, and you don’t necessarily want to use that as your business phone. That’s why you still see people carrying around two phones, which is a hassle to say the least.
Your second number works just like your first. Separate caller IDs, notifications, and ringtones make it clear who’s contacting you. For outbound communication, just open Sideline. With your free phone number, you get unlimited texting, and Sideline calling uses the carrier plan you already have.
Sideline is available on both iPhones and Android smartphones.
CLICK HERE to read more about Sideline and instructions on how to install the app on your phone.
From The Wall Street Journal
How to Improve Cybersecurity? Just Eliminate the Human Factor
The computer systems that run our world—the ones that secure our financial information, protect our privacy and even keep our power grid running—all have a critical, unpatchable weakness. It’s the humans who use them.
The information hackers and con artists need to persuade someone to trust them is more readily available than ever. If you’ve ever accepted a friend request on Facebook from someone you don’t know, even someone with whom Facebook says you have mutual friends, you’re part of the problem.
Whenever someone has information about us, we are more likely to trust them. That insight has helped hackers sharpen phishing attacks, in which they spam corporate inboxes with emails that can be targeted to individuals in ways that make these emails look more credible. These more-personalized “spear phishing” attacks are more likely to succeed because they come from someone we know—or think we know.
Criminals seeking credit-card and other personal data are targeting hotels
A few years ago, computer criminals were focusing their efforts on U.S. retailers with specialized software that exploited gaps at the cash registers. Now, they are turning to the lodging industry, taking advantage of uneven security at hotels and the hotel-based restaurants, spas and gift shops typically owned by other companies, people familiar with the incidents said.
Cardholders aren’t responsible for unauthorized purchases, but they must scrutinize their bills for fraudulent charges.
To read the complete article in the Wall Street Journal CLICK HERE
The Internet has changed the rules for traveling. Gone are the days when keeping in touch from abroad was both a challenge and expensive. More college aged children are spending summers traveling and taking advantage of semester abroad programs. The following are some of the things parents and students must know before leaving home:
– What is the Internet situation where the student will be living?
– Does he/she have an International mobile phone?
– Do you and your child have a plan to reach each other in an emergency?
– Are both of you aware of the differences between phone and data services, domestically and overseas?
– Have you checked your wireless provider’s international program? (i.e Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, etc.).
– Have you considered whether or not your child should rent a phone while traveling?
– Are you familiar with the rules surrounding Internet services abroad such as Skype, iChat, e-mail, texting, and accessing the web?
My daughters have both spent 4 months studying abroad. Despite daily phone calls to and from the United States, my total phone bill for the time they were away was under $200. If you need assistance understanding the rules of international travel and would like to know how our communication costs were kept in line, give me a call at 917 921-4518 or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
The open enrollment period for Medicare is between October 15th and December 7th.
Medicare scams are common during this time. Medicare is not issuing new cards to Medicare recipients at this time and they will never contact you by phone and ask for your Medicare number. Steve Weisman, in his daily post on Scamicide.com, writes that “Medicare is not issuing new cards to Medicare recipients at this time and they will never contact you by phone and ask for your Medicare number. Never give personal information to anyone who calls you on the phone because you can never be sure who is actually on the other end of the line.”
CLICK HERE to read his entire blog.