Computer users must be constantly vigilant against attack, whether from an infected e-mail message or using their credit card on an unsecured website. The form of attack varies widely, and often lulls users to make a bad decision.
Local computer store owner Gynee Thomassen deals with users who have made poor decisions and now have an infected computer. Lately, she has seen a new form of attack where users are freely giving scammers access to their computers . . . and all kinds of personal and confidential information.
She said these users are receiving phone calls from people identifying themselves as representiving Microsoft, HP or Dell. As part of the call, these scammers (often with heavy accents) request remote access to the computer and the unsuspecting users are following instructions and giving the caller open assess to their computer.
"They are installing a keylogger program," said Thomassen. "This gives scammers every keystroke you might make." As the scammer monitors the computer, they can learn access codes, passwords, user names . . . even credit card numbers. And the keylogger is invisible, working in the background so the user is completely unaware of the identity theft.
Thomassen cautions people about giving such access when a company calls. "Big companies like Microsoft do not initiate calls such as this," she said. Only consider giving remote access if you have initiated the contact with the company, and if in doubt, hang up and call the service representative again.
A quick search of the Internet can provide concerned computer users with an abundance of tips to improve e-mail and online security.blog comments powered by Disqus