Archive: July 29, 2020

cyber security

Protect yourself from cyber-scams

Back in the dark ages before cellphones, I used a simple strategy for dealing with phone scams. My mantra was “I never discuss anything financial if I haven’t initiated the phone call.” It served me really well.

Then, when email came along, I applied my mantra to that as well. And, obviously, to cellphone calls. While I did once click on a bad attachment (yes, only once, although I’ve probably jinxed myself now), I learned the lesson of not trusting attachments of any kind.

Now, I scan every file before I open it. And, even then I don’t download it at all unless I was expecting it or the email message made it perfectly clear why I was getting it and what it contained. From a known source, of course.

Just in case you need a reminder on how to scan a file, you can follow one of my favorite rules…when in doubt, right-click. Assuming you have some kind of antivirus installed (if you don’t, get one!), you can right-click on the file in File Manager and Scan with… should be an option. That’s all there is to it.

“But,” you might say, “the file on the website just opens when I click it.” To which I say… “when in doubt, right-click.” If you right-click on a file on a website, like the one below, you will get options to open it or Save Link As…

For those of you who love infographics, here are a couple from Terranova Security specifically about the rise of COVID-19 scams and how to deal with them (and yes, you should scan this before opening it).

Enter first, format later

This is just a tip from my experience — it saves time and effort. When writing, type in the text and edit before you begin formatting. Once you start formatting, you can get carried away making everything look just right. If you haven’t finished writing, you may run out of time and have to rush through it.