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Best Ways To Avoid Phishing Scams

If you are like me, your inbox is flooded with emails from different companies trying to get your attention. But did you know that many of these emails are fake? You might be thinking “what’s the point of sending out spam emails anyways?” Unfortunately, despite the obvious drawback to these phishing attempts (you ignoring their email), the scam artists have been finding ways around this problem for a while now. In fact, in 2016 they made over $3.1 million from these traps alone!

While it is true that most phishing scams are easy to spot if you follow some basic tips, there are also some companies that use more advanced techniques which makes their fake emails more difficult to detect. An example of this is the ‘reply’ feature that allows you to get immediate help from a company representative directly within the email itself. To avoid these traps it is important to know what kind of clues to look for in order to spot one of these scams. Here are some examples:

When In Doubt, Don’t Open It

Cybercriminals are tricking users into giving them access to their private information. Phishing scam emails trick you by sending links or files that aren’t familiar.

If you receive a suspicious email – no matter who it appears to be from – don’t click on any links or download any files. Be especially wary of emails and texts that ask you for personal information such as passwords, account numbers, social security numbers, etc.

If you are not expecting an email from someone asking for verification or personal information, your first instinct should be to delete it. These emails are often labeled as “urgent,” “important” or labeled as an “official email,” but they are simply ploys to trick you into opening the email.

Sometimes these emails may even come from addresses that look like they are official, such as billing@paypal.com instead of billing@paypal.coom. Never open emails if it is not obvious who has sent you the information.

Check The Sender’s Address

A common reason why emails are labeled as “phishing scams” is because of the sender’s address that they come from. If you receive an email with an unfamiliar sender’s address, don’t open it.

The sender’s address can often be easily faked, so make sure you do your research before you open an email if it comes from an address that looks suspicious.

When trying to avoid a phishing scam, make sure the sender’s addressee is someone you trust. To check quickly you can hover your cursor over the sender’s name which will show the email address.

A quick way to find out if it is legitimate or not is by looking at your sent items/email archive. If the email address matches, it is most likely legitimate.

Watch For Misspellings

Sloppiness is a common trait of phishing scam emails because scammers don’t want to give themselves away. One surefire way you can tell if an email is a phishing scam is by running a spelling and grammar check on it. If the email contains any spelling or grammar mistakes, there is a good chance it is not legitimate.

Unscrupulous people will often use tricks to get you to click on a link that looks like it is from Facebook or another trusted source, but actually directs you to a fake site designed to look exactly like the real thing. Watch out for the common misspellings of these websites in phishing attempts, such as “Fcebook” or “Goggle.”

One sure sign of a message is a phishing scam is misspellings. So, even if the email looks official and it appears to come from a legitimate source, but there are typos or grammatical errors it’s probably not legitimate. For example, “Our records show that your payment has not be recieved.”

Check For Fake Links

Phishing scams will often use an official-looking link to trick people into opening the email. Fake links may look similar to those of legitimate companies, but they can actually direct you to a fake website that looks official.

If you are confused about whether or not to click on a link in an email, hover your mouse over the link without clicking on it. If it does not take you to the website advertised in the text of the email, do not open it.

The same goes for attachments, which can actually give away the fact that the email is a scam if you don’t open them. If anything looks suspicious, do not open it .

Google’s Gmail service will highlight in red all links that are not secure which means they are very likely trying to trick you into clicking them when in fact they lead you to an insecure website.

Be very careful when clicking links, make sure the destination is the one you were intending to navigate to.

Cybercrime is one of the biggest problems facing our society today. It affects home computer users and companies, across all industries. The criminals are often after some type of financial gain, or if they are hacktivists it might be for a social cause. However they get in, at some point they will almost always try to trick you into giving them something, whether it’s your money, information or both. Stay vigilant and visit Bayshore Interactive’s social media platforms to stay up to date on security related news.

 

 

Benefits Of DuckDuckGo

DuckDuckGo is a search engine that focuses on your privacy. The most obvious advantage of using DDG is its emphasis on protecting user’s privacy.

Unlike other popular search engines, DuckDuckGo doesn’t collect or share any personal information about you with advertisers or web publishers. All searches are completely private.

1-Page Search Results

One of the benefits that DuckDuckGo provides is one page search results. Unlike Google, when you perform a search on DuckDuckGo it returns just one result per search term. This allows for less distraction when searching than other popular search engines provide since the user only has one result to select instead of 10+ which can lead to confusion and a loss of focus.

Perfect Privacy

One of the main things people love about DuckDuckGo is that it offers what many other search engines don’t, perfect privacy. In fact, in some cases this has been the number one reason people have switched to using DuckDuckGo from Google or Bing.

Instead of being tracked on a daily basis by thousands of organizations around the world, you can use DuckDuckGo and browse in peace. You’ll be completely anonymous and your information won’t be sold to 3rd parties.

This is a big deal for people who like to do research online because they feel if their information gets out it could harm them in some way. Imagine someone sees you researching something or looking up something on your computer, does that sound safe? Of course not, that’s why being able to use an anonymous search engine is important.

It’s also important to note that you won’t need to download any special software or use any extensions because it works through your web browser, which is all most people are familiar with anyway. In fact, you can simply add a bookmark to your browser and it will save you time in the future.

No Targeted Ads

One of the prime reasons why DuckDuckGo is different from other search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo etc. is that it does not do targeted advertising based on your personal interests, location or history.

This means that no matter what you are searching for, you end up with relevant results without being targeted by ads which are not related to your interests.

As mentioned above, DDG doesn’t use targeting ads or cookies which are methods employed by other search engines. This ensures that the user maintains their privacy with DuckDuckGo as there is no tracking of their personal data like age, gender, location etc. When you do an online search using other search engines, they get to know a lot about you which can be used for their benefit by showing ads and links to products and services related to your profile.

No Profiling

If you don’t like the idea of others knowing about your online activity and tracking where you go and how long you stay there, then DuckDuckGo is the best choice. it doesn’t use cookies to track its users, hence there’s no profile created on a particular user’s activities.

DuckDuckGo does not store any personal data, it only processes your ip address to display the results. search engine doesn’t even save your searches for longer than a single session, where all data is deleted when you close it.

There’s no personalization in search results either – don’t like that Google gives preference to its services when showing results? DuckDuckGo makes sure it shows unbiased results, even if it results in slightly less relevant ones.

No Social Engineering

DuckDuckGo is a search engine that doesn’t track its users. This means that ads will be based on your search terms and nothing else. This makes for unbiased ad serving, which won’t lead to social engineering — where you’re shown ads that play on your fears or desires as a way to manipulate purchase decisions.

Similarly, since DuckDuckGo doesn’t track users, this also means that it’s not gathering your data to sell to third parties. In addition, there are no tracking cookies involved with the website itself. This makes for a safe and malware-free browsing experience without all of the privacy concerns that come along with using Google or Bing.

Because of not having social engineering, there’s no such thing as tracking what you’ve been searching for… so all the pages are cached in memory, allowing for very fast searches

If you value privacy, speed, and relevant results, then search on DuckDuckGo. Stay tuned into Bayshore Interactive for more information on technology and security!

 

Top Cyber Security Tools Companies Need Today 

Cybersecurity and data protection in the modern world is a necessity not just for individuals but also small and large businesses.

A vast majority of companies need to come up with a security plan that ensures their business data will be safe from outside attacks or internal hacking. Here are the top cybersecurity tools you should implement right now.

VPN

A VPN is a system that uses software to create a secure network connection over a public network such as the internet or a private network owned by a service provider. It enables users to send and receive data across shared or public networks as if their computing devices were directly connected to the private network. VPNs can provide confidentiality, integrity, and authenticity assurances between the sender and receiver, and such assurance is needed in many cases to ensure secure communications.

Today’s world is increasingly becoming more and more dangerous, especially if you’re an individual who is responsible for the security of sensitive information at your company. If you work with data that could prove costly for your company in the event of a leak, it is essential that you invest resources into cybersecurity tools that can protect your business from such threats.

A virtual private network, or VPN , is an essential tool for businesses of all sizes and types. A VPN will protect your company by encrypting its data and communications and masking its IP address — which could allow hackers to spoof the source of the attack.

Multi Factor Authentication

No longer considered only an option for government employees, high profile business executives and other such individuals, multi factor authentication has become a popular solution for all types of companies. Its premise is simple: in order to log into the system, the user will need two things – something they know (their password) and something they have (a device).

Employees are generally required to use multiple factors of authentication in order to prove their identity when logging into company systems. This practice greatly increases security by making it harder for unauthorized individuals to access privileged accounts, even if they have obtained another user’s password.

The most common types of multi-factor authentication include: Something You Know (password) Something You Have (smart card or cell phone) Something You Are (fingerprints, retina scans, etc.)

According to a recent study conducted by the security firm Rapid7, nearly half of IT professionals polled used multi factor authentication on at least some corporate endpoints.

While adoption has increased significantly in the last few years, many companies are still hesitant to implement this security layer due to concerns that it will slow down their employees and create inconvenience. However, by choosing the right combination of multi-factor authentication tokens, companies can actually reduce login times and increase user satisfaction.

The bottom line is that multifactor authentication is the most effective way to secure data against cyberattacks. If you are not currently using multi-factor authentication for your employees, then it should be one of your top priorities next year.

Password Policy

Nowadays, companies of all sizes are more connected than ever before. Whether it’s through cloud services, information sharing or even just sending an email internally to another colleague, employees at all levels have access to sensitive information that could threaten the security of your company if misused.

One of the easier and more effective tricks for increasing your company’s security is through using a strong password policy that mandates employees change their passwords every few months. A study by Carleton University found that not only were employees who had to change their passwords more likely to select stronger passwords, but they were less likely to reuse the same password across different services. It’s also important for your company’s information security management system (ISMS) to be tied in with your password policy so you can always track passwords and who is using them. You can’t protect your business if you don’t know what’s being used to access it.

It has been shown that weak passwords are the number one way people get hacked, and the simple password is the biggest culprit. Hackers can try thousands of passwords in just a couple of minutes by running programs designed to use common words or names. Every minute your employees spend trying to guess a password, they could be doing something productive.

Employees should have a minimum of 12 character passwords with a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols. This makes it much harder to guess by a program, but there is still room for human error. People also tend to write down their passwords if the system forces them to do it. With a minimum of 12 characters, you can reduce the chance that someone will write the password down by accident and increase your security at the same time.

Anti-Phishing

Our identities are being stolen, privacy breached, and confidential information shared on the internet every day. Cybersecurity threats are everywhere right now. This makes it especially difficult for companies to protect themselves against malicious attacks, phishing scams, ransomware viruses , and other forms of cybercrime. However, there are steps that can be taken to increase the protection of companies’ information.

One effective method for protecting against phishing scams, which are responsible for more than 600 million compromised identities each year (and that’s just in the United States). There are many ways to implement an anti-phishing training program.

It can be as simple as employees receiving regular emails with links that, when clicked, take them to a fake phishing website where they are reminded of phishing techniques and how the company protects against such scams. More complex programs include having employees log in to mock accounts (or “mules”) where they are taught how to detect suspicious emails.

Employee training can help mitigate risks by teaching people what information should never be shared on emails or other networks. Even simple measures such as not clicking suspicious links, reporting unauthorized access to sensitive information, and keeping company data out of the wrong hands can work wonders.

The modern world is full of dangers and cyber security companies have taken it upon themselves to do everything in their power to help businesses be safe from attacks. By implementing these tools you are taking the right step towards securing your company’s data! Stay tuned into Bayshore Interactives blog page for more cybersecurity information.

 

 

Cybersecurity Lessons From 2021

A lot has changed in the world between now and then. One thing that almost certainly hasn’t changed is people hacking into systems for fun, profit, or many times, both. While cybersecurity professionals have gotten better at defending systems against attackers, attackers seem to also become more skilled at getting around their defenses.

If you want to know what the world of cybersecurity will look like five years from now, here are some things to consider based off what we learned in the year 2021.

Plan For Ransomware

When criminals are able to infect critical systems, they will encrypt the data. If you pay the ransom, you might get your files back, but if you fail to plan before it’s too late – how will you run your business? How will you operate your utilities?

There seems to be no end in sight for ransomware attacks. Even if the victims follow safety precautions, newer generations of ransomware are able to circumvent security measures. Businesses, both big and small should take the necessary measures to ensure that their critical information will not be lost in case of an attack. Otherwise, they could go out of business if hackers are able to infiltrate their systems.

If you are looking for ransomware protection , it is advisable to start planning before criminals are able to infect your critical systems.

Once criminals take over control of the machine, they will find and encrypt the data before sending out a ransom note. If you want to protect your business and yourself – it is best to train employees on how to spot phishing emails. This way, you can make sure that more of your devices are safe from criminals. Also, your employees will not be wasting time on false messages and instead focus on their work at hand.

Control Remote Endpoints

In 2020, nearly every major PC manufacturer began installing hardware components onto these devices which allowed third parties to remotely command and control them with little to no user intervention.

These new features were intended to make remote system management easier and more cost effective, as well as help IT departments catch malware infections before they found their way onto the network. However, critics of the technology said that it opened a dangerous new vector for attackers and would eventually lead to an increase in attacks.

And they were right. By 2021, the emergence of “slave botnets” has become a major cybersecurity threat to corporations across the globe. Luckily, industry leaders are taking steps toward combating this new kind of attack by offering end-point control products that allow organizations to quickly detect and correct unauthorized changes made to their systems—and to regain control of systems that have been compromised.

One technology, known simply as “end-point management”, allows organizations to install a software agent on their PCs which enables them to configure, patch and update the system over the network. Additionally, these agents can be used to quickly remove malware infections—even those actively spreading across the network.

Automate Patching

This lesson was the hardest to learn for organizations. Many security professionals missed it because they fought vulnerabilities, failed to take automation seriously, or didn’t invest enough in both areas. Organizations were inundated by alerts from security devices and logs from operating systems and applications that couldn’t be remediated automatically. Without the ability to quickly and completely remediate threats, many organizations simply stopped listening to alerts. But automation was soon embraced for patch management after developers started to create patches that were one-click automated fixes even though they didn’t need to be deployed immediately.

Apply software patches immediately. In 2021, technology is more advanced than ever before and cyber attackers have been able to staying one step ahead of cybersecurity professionals by finding unknown vulnerabilities in computer networks. These security vulnerabilities allow threat actors to gain access to corporate networks where they can steal sensitive data, customer information and intellectual property.

Firewall protection is critical, but threats will always evolve which means some of them can pass through even the most sophisticated firewalls. Because of this, security professionals are recommended to install new firewalls on corporate networks every six months.

Cybersecurity professionals also learned that network isolation is crucial in blocking cyber attacks. By isolating sections of a network that handled sensitive data, hackers who may have gained access to one area could not gain access to another.

Maintain Device Integrity

If it sounds like a broken record, that’s because it is. Since the beginning of the decade, cyber criminals have had an easy time hacking our devices to cause mass destruction; they can do almost anything with them. While there are many lessons learned throughout the years, this is one of the most important.

What exactly does it mean to maintain the integrity of your devices? It means you should update them often, even when they don’t ask for it. It also means not clicking on suspicious links/email attachments and never visiting unfamiliar websites. Security vulnerabilities in homes and businesses are a major problem in 2021 because these devices have been around for so long without being maintained well.

Additionally, if you already own a home or business that uses modern IoT devices, it is recommended that you update their software to the latest version since they’re often more secure. Vendors have been known to send out updates with fixes/updates multiple times, so check for new ones every now and then. If your device can’t update itself, do it manually. In the event that your device can’t be updated, consider replacing it with a newer model.

Another major lesson learned is to always be aware of what you’re doing online and on devices. For example, make sure you know where your data is going before you upload it to a third party cloud storage service. Those that aren’t aware tend to be the easiest targets for hackers who want their information or money.

There are many things which could have been done differently to avoid some of the weaknesses which exist today. In the next 10 years, our cybersecurity infrastructure will grow and mature with technological development, but there are still lessons to be learned from how it has developed over the past decade. One thing is clear — if we do not learn from our mistakes, history will repeat itself. Stay tuned into Bayshore Interactive Blog for more information on cybersecurity related news!