Not Safe for Work (NSFW)? IT Services Are Here to Help

08/02/2018

News alert! Here at the Interplay IT services company, we recently heard about a new online scam that’s horrifyingly malicious because it’s so embarrassing that most people probably won’t report it. In fact, it’s so embarrassing that we had a hard time writing this blog.

We don’t want you or anyone else you know trapped by the dreadful con artist running this scam, so, in the interests of full information, we’re here to tell all. But buckle in for an awkward read… and, uh, make sure your boss can’t see your screen right now.

Breakdown of a Scam

So, there’s this email sweeping the Internet. It looks like this:

Porn Email Scam

 

If you’ve received this email and aren’t sure what to do, go ahead and delete it. What the email’s blackmailer has described isn’t true – he (or she) isn’t staring at you through your webcam and the blackmailer hasn’t been watching what you’ve been doing on your computer.

In addition, they don’t know all your passwords and they can’t access your contacts – they’re simply using that one password in the subject line as bait to get you to open the email. By this point, there have been so many large security breaches that many older passwords are easily accessible online. (Speaking of which, if you have some very old passwords that you’re still using, you should change those. Today.)

At this point, we’ve spent two paragraphs convincing you that this email isn’t real. However, if this email shows up in your inbox, you may still be inclined to react to it and pay the cybercriminal. This is because casual and artless as the email may seem (so many typos and weird letters!), it’s actually a sophisticated piece of persuasive phishing. This is because it prompts a kneejerk reaction from you.

Sadly, this irritating email will be highly effective.

By the way, have we mentioned how much we hate this email? This might be awkward for you, but keep in mind our families are probably going to read this. Ugh. (Hi Mom, please stop reading this. I promise to call soon…)

Also, while we’re mentioning things, we’d also like to mention that you are free to watch whatever you darn well please on your computer… but please be extremely wary of free… um… “movies featuring adults.” That stuff is often riddled with malware and can become a security nightmare. And, um, don’t watch said movies on your work computer. That would be a Very Bad Idea.

But getting back to the topics of cybercrime and phishing…

Tips to Stay Safe Online

As we’ve already explained, the email we posted above is a complete scam. The blackmailer doesn’t have full access to your computer and has not watched you watching porn. (Sheesh! Did I really just write that on my business’s website?)

However, if the idea of the email has got you worried, it may be time to solidify your online security habits. Here are a few tips that will keep you safer.

  • Be careful where you surf online – Check URLs before clicking and avoid long, nonsensical addresses or misspelled versions of common sites, such as Paypall.com (two L’s).
  • Keep your systems up to date – Install patches and updates immediately. Yes, it’s a hassle, but malware is much, much more of a hassle. (If patching is too much of a hassle, Interplay can help.)
  • Question weird emails – If something seems odd about an email, don’t click it. Don’t download its attachments either. Stay safe by calling and asking before blindly clicking unexpected attachments, even from regular contacts.
  • Change old passwords – In this email, the blackmailer “proves” his or her position by using a password of yours. This shows how easily hackers can gain access to old passwords, so make sure to change your passwords and never share your passwords.
  • Use different passwords on every website– This tip is really hard to follow because it means you have to memorize a lot of unique passwords. If this sounds like a pain in the neck (it is), you can use a password manager like Dashlane to create and store all your passwords securely.
  • Perform regular backups – The more often you back up your network, the better prepared you’ll be to handle a disaster or a cyber-attack. Image-based backups are your absolute best bet for effortless, secure data restoration.

Don’t Fear the Internet – Use an IT Services Provider

The Internet is an incredible tool, built to bring people together in amazing, fun, and productive ways. It’s revolutionized the way we work and live and has connected even the most far-flung parts of our world with unexpected and exciting links.

Unfortunately, it still has a few quirks that still need to be ironed out, such as cybercrime and all those computer bugs, but you don’t need to fear the Internet. You simply have to protect yourself and your business.

If you’re a Seattle business looking for help securing your systems and protecting your network, consider Interplay. Interplay is Seattle’s longest-standing IT service company and has been ranked as one of the top IT services providers in the world. As it so happens, we also have a pretty surprising blog…

 

Contact Interplay today to request your free quote for tailor-fit IT service solutions that make perfect sense for your business needs.

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