You go to use your computer like usual. You start it up, log in, and instead of seeing your empty desktop, there’s a pop-up saying that your computer is in immediate danger due to viruses or other kinds of threats. You might try to close the pop-up, but there is no way to do so. You might then notice that the pop-up gives you a phone number to call for tech support. They’ll claim to be Microsoft, Apple, Google, or some other reputable company, and before they can help you with your computer virus needs, they’ll ask for money. They’ll take that money and you will never hear from them again.
It’s called a tech support scam. A particularly popular scam currently because it works. When you’re being told that your expensive piece of technology is in immediate danger and you’re clearly given a phone number to solve your problems, it can be easy to forget that a world of scammers is out to get you at all times. However, it is important to remember that IT support will never contact you that way. Real support messages can always be closed, and companies like Microsoft will never ask you to send them money for help. If you do see such a pop-up, contact the company that manages your device or your IT provider. Also, you should be able to close the pop-up through the task manager which you can access by pressing the control, alt, and delete keys at the same time.
The most important takeaway, as always with scams, is that you should never send money to anyone who petitions you for it on the internet or over the phone. Also, if anyone ever asks you to pay via gift cards or Bitcoin, they’re most certainly a scammer. If you have any questions, or you’re a business owner in need of simple and effective tech support, feel free to contact us here at Nice Guy Technology. We’re here to help.
You’ve won the lottery, they’ll say! Or maybe your computer is virus-ridden they’ll say. Before receiving your funds or your IT support, they might ask you to pay a small sum… with gift cards?
Gift card scams are relatively easy to spot compared to the majority, but it’s still important to discuss them. A gift card scam is a scam where someone will ask you, for any reason, to direct a sum of money their way using gift cards. They might request gift cards for a service they’re promising to render or as a fee before you receive a prize. It works the same way as any other scam, but gift cards are simpler to steal. There’s a world of fraud and financial complexity that a scammer needs to brave when reaching into your wallet, but getting you to hand over the identification number on a simple gift card is a clean and efficient way of stealing from you.
To put it bluntly, no upstanding institution will ever ask you for a gift card. That’s just not how the trading of goods and services works, and if anyone ever does ask you, they are without a doubt a scammer. Just remember: Gift cards are for giving, nothing else! As always, if you’re a business owner and you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us here at Nice Guy Technology. We’re here to help.
It is time for students to start the school year, and with different times comes different procedures. Most kids will be studying online, at least for now. With the internet playing an increasingly vital role in children’s lives, we must be vigilant toward the online dangers that could threaten their safety. We have devised these 6 tips to help you and your children understand how to stay safe so that you can focus on giving your child a great education.
You’ve likely heard the term “phishing” before, but what exactly does it mean? Well, phishing refers to when hackers disguise themselves as trusted sources to try to trick you into “taking the bait” so to speak, so that they can steal your sensitive information. These phishing attempts can come in the form of email, text messages or phone calls and often times appear to be legitimate.
Let’s talk about a few tricks you can use to protect yourself from phishing scams:
Never send passwords or personal information via email. Your information is the primary thing that hackers and scammers are looking for, and they’ll use it to access your finances or anything else they can use to make a profit at your expense.
Secondly, don’t click unexpected links or open unexpected attachments. Hackers use these to install viruses on your device, and you likely won’t know the extent of the damage until it’s far too late.
It’s also important to hover your cursor over links to reveal the actual URL. If the real URL is different from the one that appeared to be legitimate, then that’s a huge red flag that something is wrong! You’ll also want to check the URL and the message for misspellings and poor grammar. It’s incredibly unlikely that a legitimate company will be sending out haphazardly written materials, and far more likely that a criminal would do exactly that.
Please, if you receive an email, text, or voice message that seems phishy, check with your IT department or feel free to contact us here, at Nice Guy Technology! We’re here to help.
Business owners, learn from my mistake. Be careful where you try to save money!
Hey there, it's Mary from Nice Guy Technology. I'm going to tell you a little story. So lately I've been trying to watch my personal spending, cut out some things that could save a few dollars here and there. So the last several months I've skipped a few trips to the salon so my bangs have been down in my eyes and you know, gray hair is peeking out a LOT.
So last night I got all fed up with it. I grabbed a drugstore box of hair color (it was half price with a coupon) and some scissors I found in the drawer. Seemed like a great idea at the time. I don't know what color this is but it's not mine. Well then I guess it's mine for a while.
So what I did with my hair is exactly what lots of businesses do with their technology. They slap some antivirus on the computers and hope for the best. Why spend money if you don't have to, right? Think about this though. If all of your company's computers were wiped out today, how long would it take you to become operational again? How quickly can you replace that equipment, your software, your customer data, logins, passwords? How much would that downtime cost your business? Or even worse you experienced a data breach. What's the worst that could happen? You face fines, lawsuits, you lose customers and your great reputation that you've built over the years.
Here's a scary statistic: 60% of the companies that experience a cyber attack are out of business within six months. They don't last six months after that attack! So eventually my bangs will grow out. The color will fade. But here are some lessons I've learned and I hope you do too. Do what you're good at. Hire a skilled professional for everything else. And you get what you pay for. (half price with a coupon)
I'll see you next time.
Join us for our January lunch & learn - Cyber Security: Is Your Business Prepared?
Presented by Nice Guy Technology and Grandview Insurance
When talking about the risk of a cyber attack on your business, it’s not a matter of "if" but "when”. Join us for lunch as we discuss the critical topic of cyber security and how to protect your business.
During this lunch & learn we'll answer these questions:
Each attendee will be entered to win one of several door prizes including a Google Home Hub, Google Home Mini, and various Gift Cards (must be present to win).
When & Where?
Wednesday, January 16, 2019 from 11:30am to 1:00pm
Smokehouse Brewing Company, 1130 Dublin Road, Columbus, OH 43215
What's included in the cost of my $10 ticket?
Lunch and beverage, Dark Web Scan, Presentation and Materials
What's for lunch?
Check out the Smokehouse Brewing Company Menu
How can I contact the organizer with any questions?
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 614-233-1648
Why Periodic Security Assessments Should Be Your New Normal
By now you know that building up your cyber security is just as important as building up your cash flow. Both are essential to your success, but while most businesses keep an eye on the financials, they tend to think cybersecurity is something they can set and forget. Unfortunately, cybercriminals are constantly coming up with new methods of attack and the security you had in place yesterday may not be sufficient today.
Instead of reacting to breaches and taking on the costs of downtime, lost files and destroyed trust, a periodic security assessment can identify blind spots that place you at risk. Once you know about these problems, you’re able to proactively setup adequate protection before cybercriminals strike. It’s best to use independent IT experts who can audit your security from an outside perspective, often seeing risks that would otherwise be missed.
Regulations change - Are you affected?
Many businesses are kept to strict government regulations around the way they store, process and protect data. Their operating license depends on staying as secure as possible. All regulations require regular security assessments but they vary in scope and timeframe. As regulations change, so do the security assessment requirements. You can imagine how much stricter they are now compared to just 5 years ago. Our team can ensure your business is meeting the relevant regulations, diving deep to be certain you’re safe.
Security patches and updates are vital
It’s so easy to fall behind on your security patches, after all, it seems like there’s a new update every week and each one takes precious time to apply. What we’re seeing though, is that cybercriminals are targeting any business running late, and it’s basically easy pickings for them. If you’re unpatched where it counts, it’s like inviting them in. When we conduct your security assessment, we take a look at your history and see if your business has a robust patch plan in place and make sure you’re up to date. If there’s an issue that’s placing you at risk now, impacted you in the past, or will in the future, we’ll find it.
Viruses are always evolving
Just like the human variety, computer viruses are nothing to welcome into your workplace. They’re constantly evolving to skip past anti-virus scans and do damage in new and interesting ways. Cybercriminals know people are more aware of the traditional infection methods like downloading an attachment or inserting an infected USB, so they’re getting more and more creative. Your security assessment doesn’t just include ticking that you have the latest anti-virus, it includes identifying where you’ve had the most breach attempts and where your biggest vulnerabilities are. This type of precise awareness has a lasting impact on reducing your risks.
Your business may have changed
As your business has grown over the years (or shorter if you’ve experienced a recent surge), your entire setup has changed. More employees, expanded remote access, additional vendors, supplementary locations... the list really is endless. With each change has come a new risk, particularly if your security has been growing around you. It might be that your password policies haven’t been updated since you began, or that you still have the old voicemail system even though phones are within easy reach of customers. This is perhaps one of the most useful areas a security assessment can help with, as you and your employees are accustomed to the business working in a certain way, whether that way leads to risk or not. Our experts will be able to see things from a different perspective, particularly as we make sure to think the same way a cybercriminal would.
What to do with your assessment results
While many experts might present you with a long list of problems and leave you feeling overwhelmed, our team ensures you have a benchmark for progress. You’ll know exactly what you need to do, how we can help, and perhaps most importantly, which actions take priority. Moving ahead, future security investments will be smarter as you focus on the high-payoff areas. You’ll also know exactly what you’ve done well and where your security strengths lie. Employees will see how much you value security, which helps to create a stable culture, and you’ll be able to report your commitment to customers, confirming they’re making the right choice by staying with you.
Curious how your business is doing with security? Schedule a complimentary Security Assessment with Nice Guy Technology.