Archive for April 9th, 2012

No, You’re Not Getting a FREE iPad!

Monday, April 9th, 2012

First, there was “phishing” on computers, where many of you probably have received at least one offer of receiving an iPad or other gadget absolutely free if you were one of the first 5,000 gullible people to respond with your personal information.

Now, IT consultants in Southwest Florida are seeing the same scam increasingly being used on handheld devices in a tactic known as “smishing,” which refers to the SMS (short message service) technology that delivers text messages. One example of smishing goes something like this: “Answer this question to win a free iPhone 4S: Which company created the all-powerful iPhone?” which is followed by images of the Microsoft and Apple logos. Click on either one, then enter your email address, phone number, birth date, and home address, and your free phone is on the way!
Not really.
Stop, just stop. Don’t do it. You’re just giving away your personal data and in most cases your permission as well for the company and its “affiliates” to market to you, including calling you and sending you offers. In fact, in one smishing scam, the 3,000-word privacy policy reads, “you expressly waive all federal and state no-call registrations”!
Technology consultants in Naples, Fort Myers and elsewhere urge users not only to disregard suspicious messages but not to respond asking to opt out, which only lets the scammers know the your number is alive and well and a continued target for further fake marketing messages.
Here’s another case of smishing on smartphones.
Recently, mobile phone users across America have been getting a spam text message saying the person had won a Wal-Mart gift card in the amount of $1,000. When they clicked on the link, they ended up on a website that requests personal information. Others look legitimate like they could be coming from your credit card company or financial institution.
This smishing malware crime wave is detrimental not only to personal phones but for businesses. In some cases, responding to the scam could download malicious software to the phone, stealing business-related information or password or account numbers.
CRS Technology Consultants reminds users that smartphones are computers, which means they are susceptible to some of the same problems that we see on computers. If your business has IT security issues, or would like a consultation about computer security in Southwest Florida, contact CRS Technology Consultants at (239) 542-8450, or send us an e-mail now.

Hackers Are Buttheads

Monday, April 9th, 2012

ImageA recent technology security report uncovered that 97 percent of all attacks could have been avoided. 

For business owners big and small, hackers are nothing but trouble when it comes to IT security. Don’t think for a minute that hackers target just the big guys with big bank accounts. Some of them are just as interested in small businesses whose owners are not keeping their eye on the security ball.

A recent study headed up by communications giant Verizon points out that 79 percent of attacks are crimes of opportunity, and 96 percent of the attacks were rated “easy and inexpensive” for the bad guys to carry out. Essentially, some business owners are not doing all they should be to help thwart these thieves through the use of proper security measures.

In one recent case, four people carried out what authorities consider a simple security attack on hundreds of sub-shop franchise stores in the United States. The robbers’ targets were point-of-sale machines – something that all of use almost every day to pay for goods and services. They successfully searched for and located remote access points in the systems then used the machines’ default credentials to get in. That’s when they began stealing consumers’ passwords and other confidential information as it was typed in. They then sent that info electronically to their website or FTP server where someone else put it all together and sold it on the black market.

Here are few tips to think about this week:

  • Make sure you have a firewall on Internet-facing services to protect your data because hackers are unable to steal something that is out of their reach.
  • Point-of-sale machines and other such systems are installed with credentials that are pre-set at the factory. Make sure to have that changed to prevent unauthorized access.
  • If you have a third-party company monitoring your POS system, make sure to monitor them. Have they implemented proper security measures on your behalf?
  • Educate employees about IT security, such as guarding against social phishing and other tactics because sometimes you can have the most robust security in place but the weakest link might come in the form of a human being.

If you’d like more information about security technology and how it should be working to help keep your business successful, give us a call at CRS Technology Consultants at (239) 542-8450 or (239) 643-1888.

Jordi Tejero is President of CRS Technology Consultants. He can be reached at 239.643.1888 or jordi@crsonline.net.

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