Getting Comfortable With The Basics

Program Notes for the 3rd week of the Month

Sept 19, 2022, 1 and 7 PM | Join Online Meeting > The Gadget Gurus, we have no prerequisites. Just ask questions about previous topics. I will also review the current tech news. We will do our best to answer computers, smartphones, apps, cameras, tablets, and internet questions. So bring your tech issues and enjoy the meeting.
What Is Phishing, and How Do You Avoid It? – By Review Geek Review Geek                 More Info


Q: To save money, I bought an external hard drive. When I move files to the Seagate One Touch, can I delete them from the laptop? Instructions are very poor. Dave daverv1
A: A backup is a second or more copy of important data that is stored in an alternative location, so it can be recovered if deleted or it becomes corrupted.
    Note: If you delete the original, you don’t have a backup. 

Q: Windows Defender Vulnerabilities:  What other antivirus programs do you use and/or recommend? Is this too technical a question for me to be posting on the STG website? Jay
A: This link to Heimdal Security is over three years old. Relying on reviews by companies who have a product to sell in the space can be problematic. I only use Windows Defender on all of my machines. Glenn  More Info


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What Is Phishing?
What Is Phishing, and How Do You Avoid It? – By Review Geek Review Geek

“Phishing” is a catchall term for a variety of cybercrimes. But in its most basic form, phishing (pronounced “fishing”) is a scam in which a victim is tricked into sharing sensitive information or downloading ransomware.

Most Common Forms of Phishing

Here are the common forms of phishing which should illustrate my point:

  • Email Phishing:
    It is the most common form of phishing. A scammer impersonates a popular website or figure, like Amazon or a politician, in an attempt to steal your information or trick you into downloading ransomware. They may even create a custom domain name to make their email address look “official.”
  • Spear Phishing:
    Scammers who want to hit a specific target will resort to “spear phishing.” They gather information on their victim before impersonating a trustworthy person, business, or automated message.
  • Clone Phishing:
    Most phishing emails are sent to victims at random. But sometimes, a scammer will send you a duplicate version of an actual email. For example, a hacker may send a copycat “order confirmation” containing malicious links or attachments if you receive an order confirmation.
  • Pop-Up Phishing:
    Popups are still a common vector for scams and malware. For example, modern popup phishing attacks usually take advantage of a browser’s notification settings to send you “antivirus warnings.”
  • Angler Phishing:
    The world of social media lets scammers “angler phish” for victims. Essentially, scammers will impersonate a public figure or company on social media. For example, someone may copy a YouTube creator to share scammy “sweepstakes” links in a video’s comments.
  • Whaling:
    When a phishing attack is aimed toward an important person, such as a CEO, it’s called “whaling.” These targets are often wealthy, easy to blackmail or have access to a corporation’s backend.
  • Smishing and Vishing:
    These terms describe phishing through an SMS, text message, or phone call. Most of the spam messages or robocalls you receive are forms of “smishing” or “vishing.”

What Should You Do if You’re a Victim of Phishing?

According to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, you should report all phishing attacks to the Report Fraud website. You can also forward phishing emails to [email protected] and forward phishing text messages to SPAM (7726). If a phishing attack impersonates a person or organization, you should also warn them of the attack (especially if they’re a family member or someone within your company).

If you fall victim to a phishing attack, it’s time to enter harm reduction mode. Change the passwords to all sensitive or affected accounts, and enable 2FA to lock out scammers who have your password—a password manager will help you get the job done.

And if a scammer gets your credit card information or bank details, tell your bank! They’ll help you replace the affected card and dispute fraudulent charges. You may also need to freeze your credit cards or set up a fraud alert if a scammer obtains your social security number, address, or birthday. This will prevent unwanted transactions and keep scammers from opening new lines of credit under your name.



What Is The Best Antivirus?

I don’t recommend buying a third-party antivirus; it will not improve your security.

It’s going to reduce reliability, and it’s going to give you a sense of false confidence. So the best thing to do, of course, is to remember.

Safe Computing

  • Be careful about the places on the internet you visit. 
  • Pay attention to the information and files you download.
  • Be cautious about the links you click in emails. 
  • Practice safe computing, be cynical of popups, and things like that.
  • Have good backups, at least one of them off-site.
  • Keep your devices (computers, phones, routers, smart home devices) updated.

What Is The Best Antivirus?

You’ve got to be super cautious and trust Windows Defender. No antivirus can do better. So, the answer is that you already have the best antivirus.

Third-party antivirus can be a negative, not a positive. Here’s why all antivirus, to work, hook themselves deep into the operating system, very deep, Deeper than a regular application does. As a result, third-party antivirus can provide a conduit for a hacker or malware into your system if anything goes wrong. As a result, I think third-party antivirus is potentially less secure.


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