For many of us, May is topped only by December in terms of special activities and celebrations. The school year is winding down, summer fun is gearing up, and you may have Mother's Day gatherings plus graduations, showers, and weddings to attend. Take a break from the action now to get informed about online threats and opportunities.
This May issue starts with an alert about an antivirus phone scam that's now making the rounds. Be sure your family, especially any older members who are fairly new to computers, are aware of this scam so they don't become victims. Speaking of family, check out the original gift ideas in the Pinterest section. And keep going to learn about hacked email accounts, enjoy amazing videos, visit cool websites, and find out how to add smileys to Facebook.
The goal of each of our eNewsletters is to keep our subscribers informed regarding their Internet connection and to improve their Internet experience. We think you'll find this information interesting.
To see what's inside this issue, simply scroll down the eNewsletter or click on the links within the index to the left. Thanks for reading!
- The eCurrents Team
Scam Alert – Fake Antivirus Phone Scam Is Stealing Money And Identities
Many online scams start with an email but you also need to be cautious when the phone rings. There have been an increased number of reports recently of phone scammers claiming to be from Microsoft, or an antivirus company, or some random tech support facility. These callers will claim their systems have detected viruses and/or malware on your computer and they can help you with a lifetime of guaranteed support for just a one-time payment of $100 or so.
The process typically goes like this:
The scammers first want you to download a remote access service and grant them access to your PC.
Next the scammers want you to buy and install antivirus software that's usually counterfeit or just a trial version that leaves you with non-functioning, useless protection. They may also recommend the latest Windows operating system, which is also likely to be counterfeit.
Because the scammers were given unfettered access to your PC through the remote access service, they may install a backdoor Trojan — a malicious application that enables them to steal your passwords, use your system and Internet connection to send spam, and more.
If you receive a call from someone saying your PC has been compromised, just hang up the phone. Reputable companies will not make unsolicited calls about the health of your computer.
Microsoft recommends these do's and don'ts to help prevent becoming a victim:
Be suspicious of unsolicited calls related to a security problem, even if the caller claims to represent a respected company.
Use up-to-date versions of operating system and application software.
Make sure security updates are installed regularly.
Use strong passwords and change them regularly.
Make sure your firewall is turned on and that antivirus software is installed and up to date.
Provide personal information, such as credit card or bank details, to an unsolicited caller.
Go to a website, type anything into a computer, install software, or follow any other instruction from someone who calls out of the blue.
Do you have a local event you would like to include in the interactive 3 Rivers Upcoming Events calendar on 3rivers.net? Please send an email to email@example.com. The event must be a community-sponsored event and open to all community members. Space permitting we will run the name of your event, date, time, location and a few brief details in our online calendar on 3rivers.net.
3 Rivers always participates in as many local happenings as we can—including those listed below—maybe we'll see you there!
Virginia City, May 25—Summer Kick Off Parade
Conrad, June 1—Whoop Up Days Parade
Belt, June 15-16—Belt Rodeo & Parade
Sheridan, June 29—3 Rivers Customer Appreciation Picnic
This Month's FAQ – How Can I Tell If My Email Account Has Been Hacked?
Question: A friend of mine recently mentioned that his email account had been hacked. How will I know if the same thing happens to me?
Answer: That's a great question to ask since this is a common problem. Here are the signs that your email or social network account has been hacked:
Friends, family members, or colleagues report getting a strange email from you, perhaps one that touts a shady-sounding business venture.
There are posts you never made on your social network page. These posts often encourage your friends to click on a link or download an app.
Your information was lost via a data breach, malware infection, or lost/stolen device.
If you believe your account has been compromised, change the password to that account and other key accounts as soon as possible. Create a unique password for each account. Your passwords should be long and use a mix of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols.
Should you be denied access to your account because a hacker changed the password, visit the Web service's site immediately and follow the steps it has for recovering an account. For additional information or recommendations about online security in general, please contact us.
Sites Of The Month – Great Sites To Check Out In May
Browse Through Billionaires' Backgrounds bloomberg.com/billionaires – This fascinating interactive site gives you a look at the world's richest people including Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, and several members of the Walton family (of Wal-Mart fame). Get net worth summaries, find out about their prized possessions, and see how the rankings change over time.
Take A Virtual Tour Of The Smithsonian mnh.si.edu/panoramas – The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History showcases amazing collections that give visitors a look at ancient life forms, rare gems, and a variety of other natural science specimens and artifacts. If you can't make it to Washington, D.C., take a virtual tour and roam around at your leisure.
Learn The Latest Sunscreen Guidelines skincancer.org – While skin protection is an all-year issue, it becomes particularly critical during summer months when more skin is exposed. Before you shop for your next bottle of sunscreen, check out this site. It defines the acronyms (UVA, UVB, and SPF) and gives the new rules for sunscreen labels.
Don't Settle For Ho-Hum Hamburgers allrecipes.com – May is National Hamburger Month so it's time to fire up the grill and celebrate. If you're hungry for some new ideas, look through this site's hamburger recipes that range from basic to gourmet. Be sure to watch the video on how to make a perfectly cooked hamburger.