Received a Random Link? DO NOT CLICK ON IT!

bad link

If you ever receive random texts or emails from PayPal (or any other business, for that matter) telling you they suspended your account and now require you to authenticate your identity with an unknown link, then you should definitely think twice before clicking on that link. This is a common method that hackers use to break into accounts, especially those account holders that fall for this phishing scam. There is a better alternative to investigate this issue to see where it leads. It is important to access your account the way you normally would instead of clicking on that link.

If you were in this position, what would you do?

It is pretty safe to say that no one wants to fall for a phishing scam; but, at the same time, it can be very tempting to trust the message to make sure there is nothing wrong with your account.

The best approach is simple, but definitely not one that we would intuitively think to do.

Instead of clicking on the link provided in the text or email, open up a new web browser tab and login to the website, the same way you normally would in order to access your account. It does not matter the type of account you are trying to log into, whether it be your bank, your favorite online retailer, or any website that you have an account with. The practice of logging into the site directly, rather than using the link given, is simple and easy to do. It will also help keep you from being a victim of a phishing attack.

Let Us Help Your Team and Keep Them Safe

4 Corner IT can help you and your company choose the best tools and resources to keep everyone safe from security and phishing attacks. Our professionals can help build your business’ defenses and offer training to all members of your team, including how to identify potential threats and the best practices to keep safe from these attacks. For more information or to get started today, contact us at 954.474.2204. 

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How Secure are Security Questions?

security questions

What was the name of your first childhood friend? What was the city where your father was born? What is your favorite TV show? What was your mother’s maiden name? What was the name of your first pet? Here is the real question: what makes users think these types of security questions are going to assist in securing your important accounts?

Unfortunately, the truth is that the security questions heavily relied upon by businesses, websites, and other vital accounts, may have significant security issues. Continue reading to learn what these issues are and what other alternatives can be used instead.

What is so bad about security questions? 

In reality, security questions are just ineffective in today’s advancement of technology. Cybercriminals can quickly obtain necessary information from victims through phishing scams. More than likely, hackers will attempt to break into bank accounts. By successfully phishing a victim, the cyber attacker can obtain account information from the victim’s bank or financial institution, and possibly even the victim’s access credentials such as a username. With login information, such as a username, cybercriminals can quickly obtain their victim’s password. By clicking “Forgot Password?”, cyber attackers can see the possible security questions that the victim may have selected. Often, hackers can find these answers via social media accounts through the victim’s social media or even the social media of family and friends.

Many people are unaware that their online presence can tell complete strangers a lot about themselves. This is part of the danger that comes with posting personal information on social media. Privacy is also entrusted to the platforms that are used and the websites that are commonly used which can also fall victim to cyber criminals.

It gets worse…

A study by Google in 2015 revealed that answers to these security questions are easily predictable. 

For example, the study found that with one guess and the knowledge that the user speaks English, there was a 19.7% chance of correctly answering the security question, “What is your favorite food?”. There was a 24% chance of correctly answering the question, “What was your first teacher’s name?” with ten opportunities to answer and the knowledge that the user speaks Arabic. With ten guesses and the understanding that the user speaks Korean, there was a 43% chance of correctly answering the security question, “What is your favorite food?”. 

Some technical skill and luck are required on the hacker’s part but some of the answers to security questions can easily be found online. It is important to remember not to overshare personal information online. 

What can be used instead of security questions?

There are better alternatives to help keep businesses and accounts secure. Some companies utilize multi-factor authentication and/or biometrics. These options can make it easier for you to access your accounts while making it difficult for hackers. 

We, at WheelHouse IT, are here to help you keep your business secure from hackers and cyber attacks by implementing the best cybersecurity measures. To learn more, contact us at 954.474.2004. 

Caution Must Be Taken to Avoid Online Payment Fraud

payment fraud

Cyberthreats are already difficult as is when cyber criminals aren’t trying to steal your hard-earned money. With increasingly advanced technology on the rise, hackers are now using data from online payments to steal valuable information during a security breach. Online payments make up about 41.8% of all payments done worldwide. You can be sure that there are many opportunities for fraud to occur during this type of payment. Continue reading to learn how you can make sure your credit or debit cards are protected from hackers when making online payments.

Digital Payments are Twice as Common as Payments Made by Card

With today’s technology, many people utilize digital wallets due to its convenience and ease of use. Digital wallets are used almost twice as much as the rate of card payments. Many retail stores and restaurants are switching to a more digital format of payment and are accepting digital walletss. Unfortunately, the system has its flaws; thus, making it easier to exploit by hackers. 

Lately, because of the advancement in technology, digital payments have been known to compromise personal and sensitive data, such as full names, social security numbers, dates of birth, and other similar information including addresses, medical histories, and drivers’ licenses. 

Cybercrime Threats Are Becoming Ever So Common

With some exceptions, the majority of the cyberattacks and vulnerabilities have either stayed consistent or decreased over time. The exceptions to this include phishing scams, ransomware, and malware. Over the last few years, from 2019 to 2021, the largest increase in attacks came from those three mentioned earlier: phishing scams, ransomware, and malware. On the other hand, the Identity Theft Resource Center reported that most, but not all, cyberattacks or vulnerabilities have either decreased or stayed constant during this same time period.

There’s a statistic that could potentially be the most worrisome for your clients. The most commonly stolen information in 2021 included victims’ full names which were involved in 1,803 breaches, full social security numbers that were found in 1,136 breaches, and date of birth which were involved in 688 breaches. This statistic can be quite concerning for most people since recent data proves that hackers can obtain really personal information from people and attempt to steal their identities or use their personal information for other means.

Protect You and Your Clients’ Personal Data and Information Today

You should not have to worry about whether or not your, your employees, or your clients’ personal and sensitive information is being misused by hackers or cyber criminals as a result of a security breach. At 4 Corner IT, you can help your company as well as your clients in preventing security breaches and protecting personal information by using our IT services to assist in properly securing your IT infrastructure. To learn more or for any additional questions, reach out to us today at 954.474.2204.

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What’s So Bad About USB Drives?

usb drive

It is not uncommon to find random USB flash drives lying around the office. Even with the use of cloud storage in everyday life, USB drives are so convenient and can come in handy. The negative aspect of these USB drives is you don’t know what is on them until you plug them into your computer. Sometimes, the contents saved on the drive can mess up your day.

USB Drives Can Be a Gateway for Malware to Enter Your Network

When access to the Internet is unavailable, hackers tend to choose USB drives to introduce malware to one’s network. Due to the “plug and play features,” USB flash drives can be used with most, if not all, network-connected endpoints. The Stuxnet worm targeted unsecured devices with operating systems between Windows 2000 through Windows 7. This worm was so malicious that it took down 20% of Iran’s nuclear centrifuges. The facilities were not connected to the Internet; therefore, it is assumed that the threat was introduced through a USB drive.

USB flash drives can also be utilized to introduce remote access to those in other network systems. Hackers can also attempt to steal credentials or additional important information. Ransomware can also be used to shut systems down to prevent people from getting their work done. Simply plugging a USB drive into a device can compromise the entire system. You or members of your team can spread malware without knowing.

Another kind of threat is known as the “USB killer,” which is a device that can also infect the hardware aspect. The USB killer is basically a drive that discharges power to a connected device, damaging the device’s hardware. These types of threats do not introduce malware to the corresponding network but can cause other issues, such as irreparable damage that may result in replacing the entire system. 

What Can Be Done About This?

The best way to prevent these kinds of attacks is actually quite simple but requires two parts:

First, people need to understand that these types of threats really exist. Acknowledging that USB drives can introduce malware to a system will make you more conscious in the future. Sometimes, this is not enough.

People should also apply the knowledge they learned to real life. Employees who know about these threats and still continue to use random USB flash drives can be an issue for the entire company. Ensure that all team members know not to insert USB drives left lying around. Following up with IT security training can also be very helpful for the organization.

We Can Help Protect Your Business

4 Corner IT can work with you and your company to ensure that the entire team has the knowledge and training to understand the dangers of using known and unknown USB flash drives on the company network. We can also remotely monitor your network for suspicious activity and make sure to address it appropriately. 

To learn more about what we can do for your business, contact us at 954.474.2204.

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Have You Been Breached?

breached

Most people are aware that anyone could become a victim of data breaches. Unfortunately, many people did not know that information can be stolen without the victim even knowing. A hacker can penetrate into one’s network and retrieve personal information all while the affected person has no idea. There are various ways to protect yourself and your company against attackers. But what happens if your information was stolen and what can hackers do with your information?

The Importance of Your Data

No matter what kind of business you run or the size of your company, the data you have is extremely valuable and may contain sensitive information. Unfortunately, information can be hacked and sold to the highest bidder on the dark web. Data stolen can be personal information of employees or may contain important financial matters. Hackers attempt to retrieve any and all information in hopes to sell it for a considerable amount of money.

Password Managers Can Help

Password managers, such as LastPass, Bitwarden, and 1Password help create strong passwords and may store these passwords for whenever you need them. Password managers can alert users if an attacker has stolen a password kept in its databases. It is important to note that not all password managers have this feature or this feature may come with a price; therefore, interested users should conduct additional research on what capabilities various password managers have and the costs.

Credit Monitoring Agencies

Similar to bank monitoring services that alert you of possible fraudulent charges made on your card, the goal of credit monitoring agencies is to keep track of your credit and of potential fraud that may appear on credit reports. Hackers may attempt to use one’s personal information to open new lines of credit. Checking your credit history for accounts and any possible credit cards can be one way to ensure your personal information has not been stolen. Credit monitoring services, such as Experian and CreditWise can provide users with notifications of possible fraud in order to assist them in protecting their personal information. 

Have I Been Pwned

Troy Hunt, a security expert, developed a tool known as Have I Been Pwned. It allows you to search through various data breaches to see if your email address or phone number has been leaked online. It’s a valuable resource to have in order to determine if you may have possibly been involved in a data breach.

The most effective way to keep hackers from utilizing your personal information is by taking preventative measures now. 4 Corner IT can assist in protecting you and your business against attackers by implementing various security solutions designed to keep others away from your network and store sensitive information in a secure manner. 

To learn more about security for your company, reach out to us at 954.474.2204.

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