The Internet Isn’t Oz Anymore ... And The Wizards Are Getting Sneakier

Wizard of Oz
10/25/2013

Today with the prevailing news of virus outbreaks, malware and other situations occurring all over, what can be done to safeguard your system and website? Well, for the website, we are already taking care of all that we can. The weakest link in that chain is your account password. Leaving that out on a post-it on the monitor is generally a bad idea. You may want to use a passphrase that you can remember and has special meaning for you that anyone else would have a hard time guessing.

Keeping your computer backed up, antivirus and antimalware up to date and a real time virus scanner are great starting points. Other not so obvious points are: don't open unexpected attachments, don't open or click on links from unknown sources. When scanning through your email, mouse-over the links and if they don't go to the site the email looks like, don't click on them.

Backups are important and with a USB external hard drive easy to maintain. Windows 7 brought with it a much better backup utility than previous versions. As a basic tool, it's much better than no backup. If you doubt this or don't understand the importance of it, I will assume you have never had a catastrophe and lost a hard drive. Don't learn the hard way as many have. Imagine the amount of time it would take to recreate all that you do on your computer in a week.

The hackers and propagators of malware and viruses today are better at social engineering. The practice known as phishing typically starts with an email or pop-up message that claims to be from a business or organization that you know and probably even have legitimate interaction with. The message typically asks you to update, validate, confirm your account information or face consequences such as account cancellation. If you are seeing anything like this when visiting your site hosted on our server, please verify the behavior by checking from another computer.  We have had several customers in the last few months discover that they had been violated by seeing this on their computer, yet our checks of the site, or when the customers use a different computer, the pop-ups are not present. Typically, this means you have either malware or virus activity to be concerned about.

All this sound scary? That's not our intent. If it does help make you a little bit more aware, however, then we are doing our job.

Having a problem with spam? Want some help attempting to tighten your rules for spam assassin? Please give us a call and we will be happy to assist you with what we can. Our general rules are set moderately so we illuminate the obvious spam, but in the event that an individual would like things made tighter on their account, we are happy to assist you.

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