National Slam the Scam Day

I recently saw a statistic that indicated in 2022, 82% of computer breaches were the result of human error, misuse, or poor judgement (giving information about passwords or networks over the phone to the wrong person, leaving passwords written down where they could be found, etc.). Think about security in advance and have a plan in place to handle unexpected requests, how you’ll remember passwords, how you’ll deal with email attachments, etc.

Use an anti-virus/anti-malware program that checks any files that are downloaded to your computer and run a scan regularly. An email filter that stops spam from ever making it to your inbox is a great help. Even if you have to check it regularly for valid messages that get caught, you are not very likely to approve spam when it is clearly marked.

For email attachments, always know who is sending you one and why. It’s really easy for an email to appear to be from someone you know when it’s really a hacker. So, know why you’re getting the attachment. When in doubt, reply to the sender and ask what it’s about before you open it.

Same goes for links. Don’t click! Know why you’re getting it. Be very, very skeptical.

Text messages have become popular among scammers so beware of those messages and links.

Government agencies like the IRS and Social Security Administration will NOT contact you asking/demanding money. If you get one of those calls, hang up! They will mail you anything you need to know.

Finally, read my post on passwords. Change them often, use at least 16 characters now (with a mix of types), and use 2-factor authentication.

Be security conscious and have a plan.

Tricia Santos

After 18 years of providing computer consulting, training and speaking, I fell into a "real" job (managing a dental specialist practice). So, I gave up my business in 2007. However, I still love learning about computers and sharing what I know. This really is my favorite hobby. Hope you find it useful.

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