We have been receiving increased reports of people calling individuals and businesses across NI claiming to be from Microsoft who want to fix a common problem or virus on your computer. They then talk you through setting up remote access in order to allow them access to your PC to resolve the problem.
You can imagine that once these people get access to your computer the kinds or risks you'll then be exposed to in terms of fraud or even ransom as they encrypt your data and refuse to give it back unless you pay them a sum of money.
So with all that in mind here are some basic points to remember:
- Microsoft technical support will never call you directly unless you have initiated a support request with them beforehand.
- Microsoft don't email or call you to let you know your PC is infected, then offer to come round and fix it.
- Never let any company who you do not know or work with have access to your computer remotely.
- Never open email attachments or click on email links from companies or people you do not work with or are expecting information from. A common threat is one from a courier service with a file attached that has information regarding your delivery. Ask yourself first, why would this be sent to me, did I order something and why are they not telling me in the email message itself?
- A good rule of thumb with handling email is if you don't know the sender and are not expecting it, delete it...! Don't worry about taking that approach, if it was legitimate someone will make contact again.
Unfortunately, computer security elements alone such as antivirus and firewalls are vital but equally can only do so much to protect you. The other factor to consider when securing your IT systems is you and your users. If they are not made aware of the potential threats out there and given guidance on appropriate use of IT then you are putting yourself at more risk than you need to be.
For further information on practical IT security please contact us any time on 028 9031 1010 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org