MenOoWaC; "Danger Will Robinson!!!"

Here at the Blogville Office of Wellness and Concerns, there have been many posts of interest to pets and their peeps; not least the ongoing MenoSundays series. As the YAMster was sitting yesterday pondering what to post for this, the 22nd Sept 2016 - equinox aka Mabon - an article in waiting presented itself to me right on cue.

It is an alert as to the latest scam being generated via emails from well-known and established companies to which you may well subscribe. The father called me last week and told me that he had been hit by a virus; he admitted he had rec'd a "notification" from his antivirus of choice (Norton) with a link in it; he had automatically clicked through. Bang, all his data was locked down. In exchange for a "ransom" it would be restored to him. They picked the wrong target because the dear ol' fella is excellent at keeping his data backed up, so it was a case of wipe everything out and reinstall. Annoying, yes, but not disastrous. Then on the telly last night there was an article about just this sort of thing.
Image result for computer scam

This type of scam, called 'ransomeware', has been around for a while, but seems to be having a surge. Your email is located from the files of commercial sites where you have provided it quite legitimately. Take note then friends... if you get mail from, say, your favourite charity and it asks you to go check something through a link provided within the message... think twice before you hit that go key!!! Remember, hover over any link to establish where it is actually going - you can see this in the bottom left of your screen. If the link purports to be from the RSPCA, it ought to show that in the url line at bottom of your screen. Hover over that link I just put there now... do you see what I did there? What the scammers are likely to do is set up a url which is as close as can be to the genuine one, but will have to insert an extra letter or perhaps a numerical digit... so read those urls very carefully!!!  Three important points;

  • if in doubt, rub it out... you have the option to mark any email you are suspicious of as 'scam' and your server ought to guard against any future sendings from that address (this is something Gmail is brilliant at). The thing to bear in mind is that acting cautiously about emails, even if they are genuine is much better than having to clear up from those you didn't vet fully and were not
  • back up, back up and I say again back up... every day, if I have added new stuff to files in any way shape or form, I back up to at least a pen-drive. A stand alone hard drive is well worth investing in for the monthly whole-system back up
  • no matter if you think you trust the source, never click through automatically to any link. Make it a habit to hover and check. 

Ultimately alert awareness is the best of all defence. Look, look and look again, even if you think you know and trust the source. If there are links presented to you and you have any doubt at all, you can, to be fair, email the supposed sender (in a totally new composed message) and ask if they have generated the email with the link of which you are suspicious. It may well be genuine, but your caution will ensure you are safe and if it is not, it will alert the 'source' that they need to up their security standards also.

OoWaC over and out.

16 comments:

  1. Yes, the office next door to us was hit by that also, they thought they were actually going to have to shut their business down but finally after 4 days of work the tech person was able to get their files back. ugh.....stella rose and momma

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yay Yam and thank you for this information. Oh boy the scammers are a sneaky lot and too bad they don't use their knowledge to do good.
    My email issue yesterday evidently was an AT and T problem, I was worried at one point about a virus so I did a total file scan. The lady at AT&T did tell me their were some new things being installed on supposedly their office equipment. Must have messed up down the line. I had a friends in Kansas, Mississippi and Florida wit the exact issue I had

    Hugs Cecilia

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks for the timely advice and warnings.
    Cheers, Gail.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Yep, even banking and credit card notices are accessed only from my known links. janice

    ReplyDelete
  5. You wouldn't believe how many emails Mum gets these days supposedly from work peeps just begging her to send them money…hehe…picked the wrong Rottweiler in accounts..you should see how mean she is wiv TREATS!
    Loves and licky kisses
    Princess Leah xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hari OM
      Hiya Princess, glad to see you! Just think, mum is really doing you a favour by monitoring those treats so well!!! It's a good thing she's onto those wily coyotes out there... Huggies, Yxx

      Delete
  6. A few times I deal with those nasty ramson do hicky things. Not fun at all.
    Coffee is on

    ReplyDelete
  7. Knock on wood, haven't had problems with a virus, but live in fear!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I just cherish the fact that I have my own personal IT Security guy ;-). Great information!!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thank you Yam-Aunty for such impawtant advice. We will pay attention!
    Your Furrend,
    Louis Dog Armstrong

    ReplyDelete
  10. I'm so happy to have a Mac! I spent a lot of time teaching students about this stuff! Great post, my dear friend! xx

    ReplyDelete
  11. WE even get phone calls trying to tell us something is wrong with our computer and they can help fix it. I just laugh and hang up

    ReplyDelete
  12. my father had to deal with this ransomware, it came from his bank... (normally banks have to pay ransom instead to claim for it lol)mark worked one whole week like a slave just because of this scammers. I think such attacks are no peccadillo and this id*ots should land in jail :o(

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hello, there are so many scams lately. I always try to remember not to opening links on emails, they can be vary BAD. Thanks for the reminder. Enjoy your day and the week ahead!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Ah, but what about the opposite: an email I know can be trusted and yet it keeps getting sent to my spam folder, no matter how many times I have told that folder it is not spam! And according to the sender, several other people have similar problems with her address. Very annoying, since her comments always disappear to the bin without me wanting them to.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Yes, this is really spreading so the timeliness for this post is great. Our mom just recently backed up all her files (we think dad did too). We try to be careful!

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

    ReplyDelete

Have your say...the cloud is listening.
Meanwhile I will put the kettle on: if you ask a question it will be answered.
So be sure to check back!!!

For personal contact, please use the email box on the Wild YAM/Contact page.