How to avoid Malware is one of the most common hazards to your computer when you’re online, but it’s easy to avoid. Developing safe and smart browsing habits can protect you from malware and other threats, like viruses. Securing your computer and learning how to identify and avoid suspicious links are the fundamentals of safe browsing habits. Source: Internet Safety: How to Avoid Malware – Full Page
If you think you cannot be fooled by online ‘ransom perpetrators‘, I assure you that it can happen before you know it.
- Below is a screen shot of what happened to me on my home computer, and I must admit I was not paying attention at the time.
- Before I knew it, I had clicked a link and I became a PC user being held hostage. A password was put on my computer, and I could not access it.
- There ensued a very stressful and costly sequence of experiences.
I knew that I would be asked for money to get my PC returned to me, but I was also concerned whether I would continue to be plagued by this issue once I gave them the money. When I called, the people sounded very professional, and sure enough they had total control of my PC, and in addition my home Network!
- First thing I did was hang up on them. I was at my wits end – but looked up on my phone for a Microsoft number I could contact for help. I was informed that indeed I was not dealing with an ‘authorized’ Microsoft business, and was advised to try and acquire the password. Once I had it, I should hang up.
- The ransom perpetrators gave me the password. This is definitely unheard of. However, they had already compromised my network and 2 PC’s in my home.
- If you believe you are being contacted as part of a Tech Support Scam you can report it to Microsoft at this link: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/reportascam/?locale=en-US
- Microsoft has a list of service providers at their website. You can click this link for more information: https://www.microsoft.com/en-US/solution-providers/search
- I worked with Jerome Mitchell at NETCOM . Jerome, worked tirelessly and professionally to restore my computers. He searched the main PC, which had the password on it, found it, and removed the file.
This unfortunate experience was truly instructive on what we should know about working online and how to protect ourselves. Find out what you can do by reviewing the guidelines at the link above, which will lead you to the GCF Learn Website
♦ Find out how scams work at the Federal Trade Commission Consumer Information website: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0346-tech-support-scams
♦ Learn how to restore your PC to a previous state using F8 on your keyboard at: Malware Tips
Be careful out there!