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Spammers and Scammers - What You Can Do To Battle Them

07/05/2018  |  By: Dave Roberts, Virtual Chief Information Officer (vCIO)

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This is a message LBMC Technology Solutions could probably send every day, week, or month. It’s the reminder to anyone operating a computer to remain alert and vigilant to SPAMMERS and SCAMMERS. To refresh, spam is defined simply as the unwanted email that is sent in bulk by an unknown entity who is trying to reach a broad audience.  A spam message may include tempting links and pictures enticing you to click to receive some sort of offer. Many times, those links contain malware or viruses that will compromise your computer, your security or personal information.

A variant of a spam messaging is a scam message, more commonly known as a phishing message.  Scammers, using “spear phishing” often appear as a trusted sender – your CEO, CFO, or perhaps, your IT Department.  Phishing messages generally contain some sort of personal information about you and an attachment or link, that when clicked or opened, will also run malware or a virus that will compromise your computer and/or personal information.  Phishing messages often contain an enticement for you to visit a website or respond with some element of personal information that the scammer doesn’t already have such as bank account, username, password or social security number. If you give that up, along with any other public information the scammer may have, you will now be at risk for a personal identity fraud event or compromising company networks.  You should always verify that the sender is actually who is represented before engaging or responding to a suspicious message. 

What you can do to combat unwanted threats:

  • Don’t open a suspicious email.  If you happen to open a suspicious email, do NOT click on links or open attachments within the email.  This is especially true if you are checking personal email accounts from your work computer.
  • Don’t use USB storage devices – thumb drives, external hard drives, or any portable media.  Shared storage devices are common carriers of malware when shared between unsuspecting colleagues. 
  • Use the Internet to visit only reputable websites.
  • Make sure your operating system is patched with the latest updates.
  • Ensure that you are running anti-virus software with the latest signature updates.
  • Only use macros whenever necessary in programs like Microsoft Excel, PowerPoint or Word.

You, yes YOU, are your company’s greatest defense.  Be smart, don’t let the spammers and scammers in.

LBMC Technology Solutions assists large and small companies in protecting their systems and developing a comprehensive security program.  If you would like an assessment of your current systems and learn how to strengthen them, please contact us today.

Dave Roberts joined LBMC Technology Solutions in August 2017 with the acquisition of W Squared. He has been with the W Squared team since October 2011. His primary focus is providing IT Leadership to clients. With a background in a Shared Services environment, he leverages his experience to bring effective solutions utilizing a combination of client, business partner, and associate's resources.