Issues with Spam

Spam—the annoying, most irritable, thing to come across the cyber world. It has made email into an unreliable Internet tool with their unwanted junk messages causing us to miss the actual important ones, and sometimes even jeopardizing our computers. But, aside from all the minor irritable issues, are you aware of what the serious ones that spamming could cause? Spam mails have been the cause of lost money worldwide, identity theft, loss of Internet performance, and much more.

Identity theft:

Spammers usually send messages as other companies to make it appear as if the message is of importance. Although this may seem as an easy fix (just ignore and delete them, right?) these emails can, sometimes, carry malicious viruses or malware hidden in them, which can help them get access to personal information you may have saved in your hard drive.

Another issue this brings is that, because spammers are going through as other companies, it can cost the actual company a lot of time and money to try and clean out all the spam messages, which brings me to…

Expenses:

Receivers of these annoying messages end up paying more money for getting the spam than the spammers do to actually send them. In addition, these spammers also put fake return addresses on their emails so that they don’t have to deal with the costs of receiving responses from people who message them back to get off the list.

Spam can also cause your mail server to crash and can fill up your hard drive, which in then end jeopardizes your computer in its entirety causing you to have to spend more money to fix, or clean out, your hard drive.

TOO Much Spam:

The most annoying part about these spam emails is that, even though you can sometimes email them back with a “REMOVE” message to get off a list, it can become difficult and almost impossible to go through every single message that is being sent.

Simply because your Internet provider may have enforced methods to reduce spam, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your computer has all the protection it needs. It is important to constantly change and maintain spam protection schemes, even though this can be more expensive.

 

Protecting Your Mobile Device

Justin Bowden

In today’s day and age, the need to be constantly connected to your data, your email, your applications, etc. is a high priority for most users. Technology has allowed us to be free from the clunky desktops of old and we can now access the things that we need to do our jobs, or enjoy the luxuries for our personal lives, from virtually anywhere in the world! Businesses are taking advantage of these technologies and streamlining costs by allowing users to exist in a BYOD (bring your own device) environment. Unfortunately, this creates a lucrative target for the “bad guys” out there, who look to compromise these devices and gain access to sensitive personal or business data.

Viruses and malware are being specifically created to target these mobile devices because they believe users don’t take the same type of safety precautions they would with a normal desktop or laptop – and in a lot of cases, they are correct. Just recently a new strain of Android malware was found and what makes this particular malware so alarming is that it is virtually impossible to remove. Malware such as
this often masquerades as legitimate apps, such as your favorite games, or Facebook. It will even act exactly like those applications, making it difficult or impossible to tell that anything sinister is happening. It imbeds itself into your device, and gives itself root access. That means it can practically do anything it wants with your device. Most of the time it will only cause annoying pop up ads, but there is
the possibility that it will allow unrestricted access to data that these apps shouldn’t have.

There are a few simple ways that you can protect your devices from these malicious forms of software. The first step is to keep your device up to date with the latest operating system patches. The next step is to not install any applications from 3rd party sites. A lot of malicious software are created and distributed from these, since they do not have to go through the same scrutiny as an itunes or Google play application would. Always only download and install applications from these trusted sites. Another way to protect your device is to have malware and virus protection on it. Malwarebytes is free software which can be downloaded from you various app stores. It can provide real time protection and scanning of your device to ensure that it is malware free. As for antivirus programs there are many free ones out there. One that M&H recommends is Sophos antivirus. In addition to having real time protection for your device it also offers a host of other features that many users would find beneficial. Sophos can offer encryption of your device, allowing your data to be protected if lost or stolen. You can setup a remote wipe, which would allow you to wipe your device in case it is stolen. It also has a spam protection which can help with those annoying texts and spam phone calls!

Here at M&H, while we strongly recommend having virus protection on your mobile device, we would caution that isn’t it a full guarantee that your device won’t be susceptible. If you have questions on the best ways to protect your mobile devices, or would like us to make sure that they are up to date and protected contact us any time at 866-9MB-TECH or email us at support@mhconsults.com

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All About Macs

Joshua Hewitt

So you have a Mac and you hear about all the PC users getting some sort of “virus”, “spyware” or “malware”. You do not have to worry because you have a Mac, right? Wrong! Macs are now becoming the target of viruses, spyware and malware. Back in the day, there was much less worry about any “junkware” infecting your PC. Now that Macs are becoming more popular in homes and offices, they are becoming bigger targets than previously seen. While there is no I 00% fool proof protection, here at M&H, we highly recommend to make sure that your investment in a computer is protected. The Apple system OS began setting up some built in protection since system release 10.6. 7, but as you know, computers and programs evolve by the minute! The built-in security features of OS X reduce the risk of malware attack, but they’re not absolute protection. It’s very important to have not only an antivirus solution (such as Sophos antivirus for example), but to also have a malware/spyware solution as well. So, how can you get said “malware” and/or “spyware”?

  • Software from an untrustworthy source
    • Software of any kind is distributed via BitTorrent or Usenet.
    • Software with a corporate brand, such as Adobe Flash Player, doesn’t come directly from the developer’s website.
    • Rogue websites such as Softonic and CNET Download distribute free applications that have been packaged in a superfluous “installer.”
    • The software is advertised by means of spam or intrusive web pop ups.
  • Software that is plainly illegal or does something illegal
    • Software that you would otherwise have to pay for is “cracked” or “free.”
    • An application helps you to infringe copyright, for instance by circumventing the copy protection on commercial software, or saving streamed media for reuse without permission.
  • Conditional or unsolicited offers from strangers
    • A web page tells you that you have a “virus” and offers to help you remove it. (Some reputable websites did legitimately warn visitors who were infected with the “DNSChanger” malware. That exception to this rule no longer applies.)
    • A web site offers free content such as video or music, but to use it you must install a “codec,” ” plug-in,” “player,” “downloader,” “extractor,” or “certificate” that comes from that same site, or an unknown one.
    • You win a prize in a contest you never entered.
    • Someone on a message board such as this one is eager to help you, but only if you install an application of his choosing.
    • A “FREE WI-FI!!!” network advertises itself in a public place such as an airport, but is not provided by the management.
  • Unexpected events
    • You open what looks like a document and get an alert that it’s “an application downloaded from the Internet.” Click Cancel and delete the file or message.
    • An application does something inexplicable, such as asking for permission to access your contacts, your location, or the Internet for no obvious reason.
    • Software is attached to email that you didn’t request, even if it comes (or seems to come) from someone you trust.

macs

So here is the bottom line, be careful of what sites you visit, what emails you open and what programs you run. Say if you were walking on the streets of Boston, and someone came up to you and said “Hey, I got a free watch! You want it?” I would be very cautious of that person. The same thing should go for using the internet. You want to make sure you have your information protected, and again, we advise to protect your investment. Macs are great machines, but like a car, they need to be taken care of Remember, if you ever have any questions or concerns, ask our tech experts at M&H during your next tech for a day visit or email us at support@mhconsults.com

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