Whenever there’s a crisis — like the current war in Ukraine — spammers and scammers take advantage. You may receive extra email or calls soliciting donations, or you may find a higher amount of more convincing phishing email.
We’re even being warned, in a very general way, about possible hacking by Russia. Earlier this month the FBI announced it had prevented a massive hacking project on American routers and firewall devices by the Russian military. Many forms of computer hacking and interruption depend on large networks of virus-infected computers (“botnets”), whose owners don’t know their machines are carrying out nefarious tasks. That can affect home and office computer equipment.
Internet security experts around the country are urging extra caution.
Our users and community are not likely to be the specific target of any particular scheme, but large sweeps looking for access to private and small business computers can sometimes catch unsuspecting people.
Resist hacking! Some principles to remember:
- The more urgent it seems, the more likely it is to be a scam
- Don’t submit personal information and passwords to forms you’re directed to in unexpected email or texts, even if the sender seems familiar
- Directly contact whoever supposedly wrote the email (bank, relative who’s apparently in trouble, technical service) directly if you have any doubts. Don’t just answer the email or stay on the phone, use an independent way of reaching them
- Check whether you have compromised accounts or passwords by visiting haveibeenpwned.com
- If your personal data has been compromised, or just every so often for the heck of it, change your passwords. Use different, unusual passwords for sites where security is most important (like a bank)
If you have one of those moments when you suspect you’ve fallen for an internet scheme, don’t panic. You’ll need to change your passwords right away. Feel free to contact Cruzio to ask for advice.