- You’ve been Hooked! Someone poses as your stock broker, banker, or doctor. But, it’s Ms. H, as in Mistress Hacker. She pulls a fast one, “Phishing,” an attempt to steal information. She asks for your date of birth, bank account number, social security number, etc.. Don’t swallow the bait, mark the email as “Spam” and if she’s on the phone just hang up.
- “Your Computer is Infected, You Need to Update Your Drivers, blah, blah, blah.” Baloney! This can happen when you’re surfing like a pro and you get slammed by a wave of pesky small flashy windows, “Popups,” warning you to get “X,” their product or service that “you need right now!!!” “Don’t wait!” they implore. Your response, yes, don’t wait, kill the bug immediately: press and hold the Alt and F4 key at the same time. Irony-the free “antivirus software” is probably a virus!
- Misdirected Webpage. You open Internet Explorer and instead of your normal homepage, like Yahoo.com, you get “ABCGotcha.com.” First-get off the Web and employ our friendly tool #2, “Ipconfig /flushdns” from my previous 5 Tips. Second-open IE again, scoot over to the top left to “Tools,” select “Internet Options” from the drop down menu. Next, look at the home page in blue. If that is not your normal home page type over the interloper with this, http://msn.com or http://yahoo.com, whatever your normal page is, click the “Ok” button at the bottom and close.
- Your Garbage=My (24 Carat) Gold. Much obliged!
Warning-don’t put anything in the garbage can containing your name, address, phone, policy number, from Geico, Bank of America, etc. A security pro, Doug Shadel, wrote an article for AARP called “She Stole My Life,” showing how easy it is to fish out your identity. The thief digs in the garbage can or “Mailboxes” your mailbox, stealing your mail. Do: Buy a shredder and destroy all documents that contain your Id.5. Ooo-Wee a Free Flashdrive! So, you’re at the mall and find a brand new flashdrive-thumbdrive on the ground. You pick it up thinking you’ve saved $10-$15 and now don’t have to buy one. You insert Mr. Destructo-Flash Drive in the USB slot of your lap. Whoopee, you’ve been infected because the flash drive contains Malware, a Worm, Ransomware, a Trojan, or worse, a Rootkit, to steal your data, crash your computer, or hold you ransom. Do: Keep it away from your computer and instead, crush the flash drive with a hammer! Really!