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Professional Computer Associates has been serving the Red Hook area since 1999, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Would Your Users be Tricked by Social Engineering?

Would Your Users be Tricked by Social Engineering?

The term social engineering may not seem nearly as intimidating as other cybersecurity terms like ransomware or denial of service. Don’t be deceived! Some of the biggest threats to your company’s data and network security use social engineering to manipulate targets into taking a specific action - like disclosing personal information that can be stolen and exploited.

Often overlooked by the media in favor of major data breach events, there are few types of social engineering hacks that have the capability to devastate a business.

  1. Vishing: Given the fact that the number of people who fall for phishing attacks and other email scams has declined significantly, it was only a matter of time before hackers found an alternative avenue to exploit their targets. After abandoning it a few years ago in favor to digital scams, vishing - a fraudulent voice call that seeks personal information - have once again returned as a favorite among hackers and thieves.
  2. HTTPS: SSL certificates used to ensure that a website was legitimate and secure enough to protect your personal information. Websites that have ‘https’ no longer signifies security, as hackers have begun using websites that give away SSL certificates for free and using them to lull victims into a false sense of security. To make sure a website is secure, you’ll want to look for indication of an extended validation SSL (EV-SSL) which are not offered for free! EV-SSLs are signified with a green bar.
  3. Website Copy-Cats: Scammers have become very skilled at making spoof websites that look and feel just like the authentic website but are actually littered with all typesof malware. For example, after the Equifax data loss event in June 2017, Equifax set up a website to help their clients who had their information compromised with the URL: A spoof of that website, with the domain, was so convincing - it even tricked Equifax themselves! A few things to keep an eye out for when trying to determine if a website is legitimate, include:
    1. Make sure the URL is correct.
    2. Avoid giving out information unless a site has an EV-SSL.
    3. Look for seals of trust from other IT security websites.
    4. Beware of misspellings, typos and broken English.
  4. Every Word Password Theft: There are a lot of hacking tools that will scan through databases - including every word in the dictionary. These tools significantly increase the likelihood that a password that includes an actual word will be cracked and exploited. The best practices are ones that mix numbers, letters and symbols that make no sense.

When it comes to digital threats, for every exploit or hack that is prevented, a few, more advanced ones are developed. The best way to keep your business, and it’s data, safe is to take proactive measures and execute safe internet practices all times - and that goes for your employees, as well! Would you like to learn more about how you can stay ahead of hackers? Call us at Professional Computer Associates.

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Saturday, July 21 2018

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