4 MAY 2021

SOMEONE IS PHISHING FOR YOUR DIGITAL LIFE!

BY DANIEL LEW

Phishing: The Lines are out, and the bait is enticing, but your digital life is at risk if you’re caught!

 

Phishing can be described as the criminal act of tricking someone to do something that they would otherwise not do. Phishing is usually performed by an impersonator pretending to represent a business or government agency. Phishing can be done via written, verbal or electronic communications. Phishing can be directed specifically to an individual or they can be a false public advertising or marketing campaign that seems too good to be true to lure people to sign up to divulge personal information and even take money from them. What is scary is that some phishing attempts can lead to malicious attempts to sabotage and infiltrate your computer and your organization’s network with malware or ransomware. This could lead to millions of dollars of damages and could impact the integrity and reputation of your business for a long time.

 

How Can You Prevent Phishing?

 

The sad truth is that if some unsavory individual has your email address or mobile phone number, you will be vulnerable to receiving phishing attempts.

 

There are many articles that explaining the types of phishing attempts and what they look like. Examples are messages that seem too good to be true, high urgency items, messages with hyperlinks or attachments, or an unusual email affixed to a name alias that is known to you. If you are diligent and alert, you may catch some of them, but maybe not all. It just takes one slip, and your device, and personal and even financial information can be compromised. Phishing attempts are increasingly professional looking and are likely to fool many people. For example, I’ve seen phishing messages via email or text messaging claiming to come from USPS or Amazon announcing that my package will be arriving today and to click a link or open the attachment to get more details. It’s hard not to open those if you are indeed expecting a package! Even popular free encrypted messaging services are vulnerable to phishing attempts because users can be identified and contacted on these services via their mobile numbers.

 

What Can be Done?

 

The most important thing to have is a good backup strategy for your data. I recommend redundant backups: one that is cloud-based to enable restore ability from anywhere in case your computer is damaged, lost or stolen; and a second that backs up your device to a local hard drive to enable faster restore. In the worst case, your computer can be compromised by ransomware or a virus.

 

Ransomware will encrypt a large portion of your data and demand that you pay a ransom in order to be given a key to decrypt your data. Even if you pay the ransom, there is no guarantee that the criminal will abide by the terms. You are much better off to reformat your entire hard drive and restore your system via a historical backup.

 

Best Practices:

 

  • Minimize your use of email. Let’s face it, other than direct correspondence between you and another person, email has become a huge dumping ground of distracting information that takes up more time to go through than it may be worth.
  • Be extremely leery of opening any files or clicking on any links that are sent to you via email or text messaging.
  • Do not share personal information like your social security number, date of birth, or financial account information unless you are absolutely sure you are that you are connected to a valid website. One thing to look for from legitimate websites collecting personal data will be an “https” (hypertext transfer protocol secure) in front of the website domain name. This means that the website has been verified and is encrypting data that you are sending.
  • Do not answer phone calls from the IRS, other official sounding caller IDs, or numbers that you do not recognize.
  • Install a good antivirus program. This can be helpful in preventing some, but not all attacks on your computer.
  • Install a virtual private network, or VPN, which can protect your data in transit from being intercepted and protect your privacy.
  • Report phishing attempts to your IT Department and CISA (Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency): https://us-cert.cisa.gov/report- phishing.

 

Mercury - A Better Tool for Communicating

 

Secured Communications has created a simpler and unique solution to communicate securely: Mercury. Mercury’s technology was originally developed for and is currently used by public safety and counterterrorism groups worldwide, and it is now available for corporate users. The key weakness in an open system is that attackers are anonymous. Malicious operators can join open email, messaging, or virtual phone systems freely under any alias and create an unlimited number of accounts. Mercury is not an open nor is it a free system. All users and organizations enrolled in Mercury are pre-vetted and verified, and all communications are end-to-end encrypted using the highest AES-256 encryption standard currently available. Additionally, anyone that wishes to become a secured contact of yours, needs to be approved by you. You will not receive anonymous phishing attempts via Mercury! For only $1 a day per user, Mercury provides a robust, secure unified communications platform that delivers high-definition video conferencing, messaging, voice calling and file sharing. Furthermore, unlike the free communications platforms whose business models rely on collecting personal and private data from you to analyze and resell to other services, all information communicated via Mercury, stays on Mercury, period.

 

Daniel Lew is EVP of Strategic Alliances at Secured Communications. In his previous life, he was a uBreakiFix franchisee and dealt with many upset clients whose computers were compromised by viruses and ransomware.

SAN FRANCISCO | RENO TAHOE  | SYDNEY | LONDON

©2021 SECURED COMMUNICATIONS

  •  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Sustainability

EULA

SLA

SAN FRANCISCO | RENO TAHOE  | SYDNEY | LONDON

©2021 SECURED COMMUNICATIONS

  •  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

4 MAY 2021

SOMEONE IS PHISHING FOR YOUR DIGITAL LIFE!

BY DANIEL LEW

Phishing: The Lines are out, and the bait is enticing, but your digital life is at risk if you’re caught!

 

Phishing can be described as the criminal act of tricking someone to do something that they would otherwise not do. Phishing is usually performed by an impersonator pretending to represent a business or government agency. Phishing can be done via written, verbal or electronic communications. Phishing can be directed specifically to an individual or they can be a false public advertising or marketing campaign that seems too good to be true to lure people to sign up to divulge personal information and even take money from them. What is scary is that some phishing attempts can lead to malicious attempts to sabotage and infiltrate your computer and your organization’s network with malware or ransomware. This could lead to millions of dollars of damages and could impact the integrity and reputation of your business for a long time.

 

How Can You Prevent Phishing?

 

The sad truth is that if some unsavory individual has your email address or mobile phone number, you will be vulnerable to receiving phishing attempts.

 

There are many articles that explaining the types of phishing attempts and what they look like. Examples are messages that seem too good to be true, high urgency items, messages with hyperlinks or attachments, or an unusual email affixed to a name alias that is known to you. If you are diligent and alert, you may catch some of them, but maybe not all. It just takes one slip, and your device, and personal and even financial information can be compromised. Phishing attempts are increasingly professional looking and are likely to fool many people. For example, I’ve seen phishing messages via email or text messaging claiming to come from USPS or Amazon announcing that my package will be arriving today and to click a link or open the attachment to get more details. It’s hard not to open those if you are indeed expecting a package! Even popular free encrypted messaging services are vulnerable to phishing attempts because users can be identified and contacted on these services via their mobile numbers.

 

What Can be Done?

 

The most important thing to have is a good backup strategy for your data. I recommend redundant backups: one that is cloud-based to enable restore ability from anywhere in case your computer is damaged, lost or stolen; and a second that backs up your device to a local hard drive to enable faster restore. In the worst case, your computer can be compromised by ransomware or a virus.

 

Ransomware will encrypt a large portion of your data and demand that you pay a ransom in order to be given a key to decrypt your data. Even if you pay the ransom, there is no guarantee that the criminal will abide by the terms. You are much better off to reformat your entire hard drive and restore your system via a historical backup.

 

Best Practices:

 

  • Minimize your use of email. Let’s face it, other than direct correspondence between you and another person, email has become a huge dumping ground of distracting information that takes up more time to go through than it may be worth.
  • Be extremely leery of opening any files or clicking on any links that are sent to you via email or text messaging.
  • Do not share personal information like your social security number, date of birth, or financial account information unless you are absolutely sure you are that you are connected to a valid website. One thing to look for from legitimate websites collecting personal data will be an “https” (hypertext transfer protocol secure) in front of the website domain name. This means that the website has been verified and is encrypting data that you are sending.
  • Do not answer phone calls from the IRS, other official sounding caller IDs, or numbers that you do not recognize.
  • Install a good antivirus program. This can be helpful in preventing some, but not all attacks on your computer.
  • Install a virtual private network, or VPN, which can protect your data in transit from being intercepted and protect your privacy.
  • Report phishing attempts to your IT Department and CISA (Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency): https://us-cert.cisa.gov/report- phishing.

 

Mercury - A Better Tool for Communicating

 

Secured Communications has created a simpler and unique solution to communicate securely: Mercury. Mercury’s technology was originally developed for and is currently used by public safety and counterterrorism groups worldwide, and it is now available for corporate users. The key weakness in an open system is that attackers are anonymous. Malicious operators can join open email, messaging, or virtual phone systems freely under any alias and create an unlimited number of accounts. Mercury is not an open nor is it a free system. All users and organizations enrolled in Mercury are pre-vetted and verified, and all communications are end-to-end encrypted using the highest AES-256 encryption standard currently available. Additionally, anyone that wishes to become a secured contact of yours, needs to be approved by you. You will not receive anonymous phishing attempts via Mercury! For only $1 a day per user, Mercury provides a robust, secure unified communications platform that delivers high-definition video conferencing, messaging, voice calling and file sharing. Furthermore, unlike the free communications platforms whose business models rely on collecting personal and private data from you to analyze and resell to other services, all information communicated via Mercury, stays on Mercury, period.

 

Daniel Lew is EVP of Strategic Alliances at Secured Communications. In his previous life, he was a uBreakiFix franchisee and dealt with many upset clients whose computers were compromised by viruses and ransomware.

SAN FRANCISCO | RENO TAHOE  | SYDNEY | LONDON

©2021 SECURED COMMUNICATIONS

  •  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

4 MAY 2021

SOMEONE IS PHISHING FOR YOUR DIGITAL LIFE!

BY DANIEL LEW

Phishing: The Lines are out, and the bait is enticing, but your digital life is at risk if you’re caught!

 

Phishing can be described as the criminal act of tricking someone to do something that they would otherwise not do. Phishing is usually performed by an impersonator pretending to represent a business or government agency. Phishing can be done via written, verbal or electronic communications. Phishing can be directed specifically to an individual or they can be a false public advertising or marketing campaign that seems too good to be true to lure people to sign up to divulge personal information and even take money from them. What is scary is that some phishing attempts can lead to malicious attempts to sabotage and infiltrate your computer and your organization’s network with malware or ransomware. This could lead to millions of dollars of damages and could impact the integrity and reputation of your business for a long time.

 

How Can You Prevent Phishing?

 

The sad truth is that if some unsavory individual has your email address or mobile phone number, you will be vulnerable to receiving phishing attempts.

 

There are many articles that explaining the types of phishing attempts and what they look like. Examples are messages that seem too good to be true, high urgency items, messages with hyperlinks or attachments, or an unusual email affixed to a name alias that is known to you. If you are diligent and alert, you may catch some of them, but maybe not all. It just takes one slip, and your device, and personal and even financial information can be compromised. Phishing attempts are increasingly professional looking and are likely to fool many people. For example, I’ve seen phishing messages via email or text messaging claiming to come from USPS or Amazon announcing that my package will be arriving today and to click a link or open the attachment to get more details. It’s hard not to open those if you are indeed expecting a package! Even popular free encrypted messaging services are vulnerable to phishing attempts because users can be identified and contacted on these services via their mobile numbers.

 

What Can be Done?

 

The most important thing to have is a good backup strategy for your data. I recommend redundant backups: one that is cloud-based to enable restore ability from anywhere in case your computer is damaged, lost or stolen; and a second that backs up your device to a local hard drive to enable faster restore. In the worst case, your computer can be compromised by ransomware or a virus.

 

Ransomware will encrypt a large portion of your data and demand that you pay a ransom in order to be given a key to decrypt your data. Even if you pay the ransom, there is no guarantee that the criminal will abide by the terms. You are much better off to reformat your entire hard drive and restore your system via a historical backup.

 

Best Practices:

 

  • Minimize your use of email. Let’s face it, other than direct correspondence between you and another person, email has become a huge dumping ground of distracting information that takes up more time to go through than it may be worth.
  • Be extremely leery of opening any files or clicking on any links that are sent to you via email or text messaging.
  • Do not share personal information like your social security number, date of birth, or financial account information unless you are absolutely sure you are that you are connected to a valid website. One thing to look for from legitimate websites collecting personal data will be an “https” (hypertext transfer protocol secure) in front of the website domain name. This means that the website has been verified and is encrypting data that you are sending.
  • Do not answer phone calls from the IRS, other official sounding caller IDs, or numbers that you do not recognize.
  • Install a good antivirus program. This can be helpful in preventing some, but not all attacks on your computer.
  • Install a virtual private network, or VPN, which can protect your data in transit from being intercepted and protect your privacy.
  • Report phishing attempts to your IT Department and CISA (Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency): https://us-cert.cisa.gov/report- phishing.

 

Mercury - A Better Tool for Communicating

 

Secured Communications has created a simpler and unique solution to communicate securely: Mercury. Mercury’s technology was originally developed for and is currently used by public safety and counterterrorism groups worldwide, and it is now available for corporate users. The key weakness in an open system is that attackers are anonymous. Malicious operators can join open email, messaging, or virtual phone systems freely under any alias and create an unlimited number of accounts. Mercury is not an open nor is it a free system. All users and organizations enrolled in Mercury are pre-vetted and verified, and all communications are end-to-end encrypted using the highest AES-256 encryption standard currently available. Additionally, anyone that wishes to become a secured contact of yours, needs to be approved by you. You will not receive anonymous phishing attempts via Mercury! For only $1 a day per user, Mercury provides a robust, secure unified communications platform that delivers high-definition video conferencing, messaging, voice calling and file sharing. Furthermore, unlike the free communications platforms whose business models rely on collecting personal and private data from you to analyze and resell to other services, all information communicated via Mercury, stays on Mercury, period.

 

Daniel Lew is EVP of Strategic Alliances at Secured Communications. In his previous life, he was a uBreakiFix franchisee and dealt with many upset clients whose computers were compromised by viruses and ransomware.

SAN FRANCISCO | RENO TAHOE  | SYDNEY | LONDON

©2021 SECURED COMMUNICATIONS

  •  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Sustainability

EULA

SLA