Security Alert – Phishing Emails And What To Look For

One of our customers received a malicious email today, which attempted to trick the user into revealing their password. Fortunately, the user thought the email was suspicious and asked us about it before clicking the link in the email.

 

We are beginning to see an increase in phishing emails being sent out lately and thought it would be prudent to inform you what to look for in order to protect yourself from this common threat.

 

A phishing email is an email that attempts to trick the user into divulging their password(s) by pretending to be someone else. The email will usually say that your account has been ‘flagged for suspicious or unusual activities’ and your password must be reset in order to protect your account. The email will then ask you to click on a link in the email to reset your password. When you click this link, a website that has been designed to appear legitimate will open and prompt you to enter your old password and your new password. Once you click submit, your current correct credentials are sent to the phisher who then uses them to access your account and commit whatever nefarious deeds they would like.

 

Here are some other red flags to look out for in phishing emails:

  • Misspelled words
  • Bad grammar
  • Threats of suspension/termination of account
  • Account needing human verification
  • Anything asking you to click a link in the email
  • Anything asking you to open an attachment

 

Localloop will never ask you to reset any of your passwords via email. In fact, almost no company will reset your password without you requesting it. There are some exceptions to this. If a company experiences a data breach or hack, they will sometimes pre-emptively reset every user’s password and send out an email notifying users. However, if you think this is the case, it’s easy to confirm by pulling up the company’s website instead of clicking the link in the email.

 

The bottom line is if you receive an email asking you to click anything to reset your password, it is more than likely a scam and could cause damage to your computer or allow a third party to access your account. Please call Localloop at 478-453-8324 if you receive any of these emails and we will be happy to check to see if they are legitimate or not for you.

Protect Your PC Through the Storm

Should I turn my desktop computer off during a lightning storm? I’ve heard stories about lightning striking a house and ruining thousands of dollars of computer equipment. These people had all the anti-surge stuff and it did not help. They even had the computer off; the on switch was still sending power to it from a wall.

A power surge is an abrupt, large increase in voltage or current in the power supply that typically lasts a fraction of a second. But these surges produce nowhere near the same amount of voltage and current as that caused by lightning, a giant discharge of electricity produced during a thunderstorm. The surge protector doesn’t stand a chance against lightening. The current can just blow right through it damaging whatever is on the other end.  So if you think a storm is coming, you should physically disconnect your computer from the main socket to protect it from a lightning surge.

It’s bad enough if you have to replace your computer from damage. It’s far worse if you lose all your data too because you haven’t backed it up. That is why you should regularly save everything to a data storage device or online backup service. If you don’t currently have a backup solution, call us to get one set up today. Stay safe!

New Ransomware “Locky” Discovered

Please read the following as it pertains to a new virus threat that can IRREVOCABLY DESTROY all data on your computer and the company network.

This virus is very similar to the recent Cryptowall / Cryptolocker virus.

Currently Antivirus and Firewalls will not catch this new threat as it is a zero day attack. This means it is a brand new attack and antiviruses have not had a chance to implement protections.

This threat is being distributed using e-mail and Word documents.
Emails are being sent out with a subject line such as ATTN: Invoice J-98223146 and a message such as “Please see the attached invoice (Microsoft Word Document) and remit payment according to the terms listed at the bottom of the invoice”.

If you receive an e-mail similar to this please DO NOT OPEN IT and DELETE THE EMAIL IMMEDIATELY. If you think you have opened such a file please contact Localloop at (478) 453-8324.

More information on “Locky” can be found at KnowBe4

Strengthen Your Google-fu!

How strong is your Google-fu?

Many people struggle to use Google to find what they need. The search provider is extremely powerful, but not always as smart as it should be. The fine folks over at Who Is Hosting This have created a wonderful infographic that shows some hidden tips and tricks you can use to empower your Google searches and find exactly what you are looking for.

If you’re still having trouble finding what you’re looking for we are more than happy to assist. Please contact a Localloop technician using any of the methods listed on our website.

How to be a Google Power User - Via Who Is Hosting This: The Blog

Source: WhoIsHostingThis.com

gloCOM, A Global Communicator Desktop Application

There are many reasons to switch over to VoIP phone services but one of the newest features we are offering is gloCOM, a communicator application that can be used directly from your computer’s desktop. With gloCOM you can place and receive calls, instant message, send and receive faxes, and place conference calls directly from your computer screen. gloCOM can even integrate with your CRM so that your contact lists can be accessed through the soft phone application. For example, when someone in your contacts list calls, a window will pop up with their contact information so you have the caller’s information right in front of you. You can then answer or transfer the call using the buttons on your computer screen. This program works really well with a headset but you can also use your regular phone to talk or even a bluetooth.

gloCOM also allows for improved communication between the people within your business. Anyone who has the gloCOM soft phone program on their computer can see who is on a call and who may be away from their phone. It also allows for instant messaging, conference calls, and even video calls between extensions. The instant messaging features allow organization members to communicate without having to tie up a phone line and send files back and forth easily without having to send an email.

There are many different ways to place phone calls with gloCOM. If you ever have to look up a phone number on the web, you can make a phone call to that number straight from your Internet browser with just a click of your mouse. You can also drag and drop multiple phone numbers into the phone window to create a conference call. You can even add another number to an existing call to add more people to the conversation. gloCOM also allows for remote call monitoring.

These are just a few features of the gloCOM application. This application used with our VoIP phone systems can make communications within your business and with your customers easy and efficient. Call us today to find out more.