Great Plains Communications Residential Blog

Keeping Your Family Connected

Tag: cyber security

Stay Secure this Cyber Monday

People often associate chaos and risk with Black Friday and not so much Cyber Monday. Rather than mobs running through aisles, they picture themselves safe on their couch with a blanket and cup of coffee. What people don’t understand is that all Cyber Monday has done is take the craziness of Black Friday and opened it up to the World Wide Web. Great Plains Communications wants to provide tips to protect yourself when shopping online.

The three tips we will cover are:

  • How to spot fake shopping websites
  • Keep your software updated
  • A credit card is safer to use than a debit card

 

Fake Websites

With targeted ads and pop-ups, it can seem as if the best deals are right in front of our faces. But even a secure looking ad or link could take you to a fake shopping website. From there, your computer could either be infected the moment you arrive or by malicious links within. However, where you want to be the most careful is during the checkout process. Below we have listed some giveaways that will help spot a fake website.

  • Is it a strange URL like the one in the graphic above?
  • Are they selling an odd selection of products? For example, you went to the website for the dress you saw in the ad but see they also sell computer parts.
  • Does the copy have an abundance of grammar and spelling errors? Most companies will have a copywriter whose job is to expertly write intros and product descriptions.
  • Is the customer service contact email a little off? For example, it would not be ebaysupport@support.com but support@ebay.com. Don’t get tricked by familiar terms.
  • Are the prices too good to be true? Is the website trying to sell an iPhone X for $100? It is probably a scam.

 

Software Updates

Having out-of-date versions or unpatched software is like having a target for malware, leaving you vulnerable to exploit kits. At the least, make sure to have your browser updated when shopping online. This will ensure your cookies and cache are more secure against data leaks.

We are all guilty of rolling our eyes at the little update bubble. It’s time consuming and most of the time the changes are behind the scenes so we write them off as insignificant. But it is the information behind the scenes that is keeping your data protected.

 

Credit Card vs. Debit Card

The main advantage to using a credit card versus a debit card is that a credit card has better consumer protection. In the case that someone did obtain your information, you wouldn’t be liable for fraudulent transactions. With a debit card, depending on when you report the missing card or fraudulent transactions, you could be on the hook for the entire amount. No matter what kind of card you use, it is always smart to monitor your accounts after online shopping.

Keep Your Technology Secure with Tech Home

We live in a technology driven world, with friends, businesses and online information all at our fingertips. Our lives have become a constant stream of emails and newsfeeds connected between multiple devices. Great Plains Communications wants to make sure you understand just where those connections are going and that they are all protected, with our Tech Home service.

The program provides world-class security for all your devices, home and on the go, with web security and antivirus systems. Gone away is the worry of lost files when your device crashes or gets damaged. With Tech Home you will be able to sync and back up all your files, photos, contacts and additional important information. No matter where you are, or which Wi-Fi you connect to, Tech Home will have you covered with a cloud-based protection keeping your personal information secure and convenient. With round-the-clock technicians, you will always be provided with help to setup, test, fix and enjoy your network.

Tech Home is the support you are looking for and the protection you need. For more information on the new product, call 1-855-853-1483 or visit our website at https://www.gpcom.com/residential/internet/techhome.

Do You Know if Your Computer is Secure?

Data Privacy Day is more than an annual reminder to change your passwords. If somebody told you that you have malware on your computer, would you know what that means? By definition, ‘malware [mal-wair]: software intended to damage a computer, mobile device, computer system, or computer network, or to take partial control over its operation’. Though spyware (form of malware) can be applied in several technologies, there are two important things staysafeonline.org notes to be aware of…

  • They (spyware) can download themselves onto your computer without your permission. This can happen when you visit an unsecure website or through an attachment in an unprotected email.
  • Spyware can make your computer do things you don’t want it to do. That might be as simple as opening an advertisement you didn’t want to see. In the worst case, spyware can track your online movements, steal your passwords and compromise your accounts.

Below are some steps to ensure you are staying protected, provided by staysafeonline.org:

  • Keep a Clean Machine: Make sure to have the latest security software, web browser and operating system to have the best defenses against viruses, malware and any other online threats.
  • When in doubt, throw it out: Cybercriminals often use links in emails, tweets, posts and online advertising as their main source in attempting to compromise your computer. Don’t hesitate to delete something if it looks suspicious, even if you recognize the source.
  • Protect all devices that connect to the Internet: Computers are no longer the only way we connect to the Internet, make sure smart phones, gaming systems and other web-enabled devices also have protection from viruses and malware.
  • Plug & scan: Don’t forget to scan “USB” drives with your security software to be sure they have not been infected by viruses and malware.

Great Plains Communications wants to make sure your computer and information are safe. Keep all of these tips in mind as Data Privacy Day approaches next week and for more information go to staysafeonline.org.