Protecting Yourself From Yucky People!
The world, and thus the internet, has its share of scoundrels… or “yucky people” as I heard some cute four-year old put it yesterday..
Here’s a collection of tips to help you this week, focused on how to protect your social media accounts from hacking/phishing attacks.
The “bad blog about you” direct message and the “funny picture of you” direct message going around is a phishing scam and will grab your credentials and spam on your behalf. If you’ve been affected (or just want to be cautious), change your twitter password (make it secure) and go into the settings and enable HTTPS, which will help reduce the number of phishing attacks that can “get you”.
- Here’s how to enable HTTPS for Twitter
- Here’s how to block many Twitter DMs (though sadly this does not work for the infected sort)
PS: As a general rule, don’t open links in DMs
Infected links are ALSO a problem on Facebook and can easily phish your login credentials.
- Here’s how to enable HTTPS for Facebook
- Here’s six signs a link on Facebook is Infected to help you get a “feel” for the red flags (most also apply to twitter)
There are three primary routes of infection on Skype…
1) A seemingly benign “would you check this post out” type message from a friend … with an infected link. These are really sneaky. I will often ask a friend if they just sent me a link and what it’s about before I open it, if it comes with an inadequate message.
2) A text-based notification that your system is infected and you need to click a link to clean it up.
3) A audio-call from any account you don’t recognize, that often is pretending to be “official” using things like “Security Notice” and “Skype Notifications” that instruct you to follow steps to secure your account but actually get you infected.
Block infected fake-accounts and mark them as spam.
There’s a lot to learn about WordPress security, and it starts with simple things like using an account NOT named “admin” and having a secure unique password. Two plugins I like are “Login Lockdown” and “WordPress Firewall” (many still prefer the original, but that may not always be true going forward). There are lots of good plugins, use a few but don’t install them all!
You can learn a lot of easy to apply WP security from John Hoff, at WordPress Defender. Grab a copy of his ebook and you will not only learn the basics, but he also sends out emails when things are amiss.
Run a high quality, user-friendly antivirus. I don’t class Norton or McAfee in that category due to ongoing issues over the years. AVG, Avast, Kaspersky, NOD, and others are all better choices.
Use a router between your computer and your modem. A router helps minimize certain attacks if you do not have a true firewall. Don’t use Internet Explorer.
Keep Windows up to date with security updates.
Be sure to keep Adobe Reader, Java, Flash, Visual Studio, & Windows core files all up to date. Many, many, many infections are picked up by vulnerabilities in these apps. (I can’t tell you how many people I know with old versions of Reader.)
PS: Today, even Macs are vulnerable to several types of infections and for the novice user a good antivirus is still recommended.
Yeah, it’s unfortunate that the world DOES have “yucky people” in it but fortunately with some basic tips you can greatly improve your ability to keep going on about your business without their interference!
I look forward to your thoughts and comments below. Let me know your favorite tips for protecting your business accounts online!
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