Mike Foster had a pertinent cyber security post on the Foster Institute’s blog recently called “Avoid These 3 Really Good Hack Tricks” that we wanted to share with Mike’s permission:
Attackers prey on people trusting others. Watch out for these 3 common tricks.
- Refuse to permit tech support to access your computer to help you.
If this is your known service provider, then maybe you will decide to trust them, but trust nobody else.
Last week, I connected a new well-known webcam that is highly rated. It didn’t work properly, so I called tech support. Their opening line was, “I will send you a link to click, which will permit me access into your computer so that I can fix the problem.” I gently told him there was no way he was ever getting remote access. He was shocked and had to go ask his manager what to do next…
- Believe your anti-virus.
The camera company’s tech support rep, now with the manager with him, told me to download a special driver and run it on my computer. When I started to download the driver onto a “test” computer, my anti-virus program identified the driver as a virus. So I refused to install the driver. Without missing a beat, he said, “That’s okay. You can trust anything from us – it is safe.”
I wonder how many of their customers have been duped. Even if the tech support had no intention of infecting their customers’ computers, how can they be sure that their software isn’t already compromised without their knowledge? Never let convenience override your choice to do something reckless.
- Never answer online quizzes.
I love my wife. One day, she was so excited to tell me what her rock band would have been called in high school. She took a quiz on Facebook that told her. I asked what her rock band would have been called. The band name generated by her filling out the online quiz including the street she grew up on, followed by her favorite pet’s name and the name of the high school she attended. Like I said earlier, I love her so much, but please don’t ever fill out any online quizzes again – ever. You can be duped into giving away too much information. Attackers can combine the answers with other information they discovered elsewhere on the web, and it makes it lots easier for them to assume someone’s identity.
Please forward this to everyone you care about!