WITH cybercrime on the rise it can feel like you’re being attacked from all angles.
Luckily, Microsoft has a blogpost dedicated to protecting its users “from online scams and attacks”.
Using SmartScreen for Microsoft Edge can help you block known phishing websitesCredit: Alamy
The blogpost flags phishing, tech support scams and malware as its main areas of concern.
Microsoft has listed a few wise tips that could protect you in each of these situations.
Microsoft explains: “One of the most common attacks we see are what we call “phishing” attacks (pronounced like fishing).
“This is when an attacker contacts you pretending to be somebody you know or an organization you trust, and tries to get you to give them personal information or open a malicious website or file.”
The tech giant recommends reading all messages you receive carefully and watching our for those that push you to take “urgent action”.
Often, scammers will try and scare you into acting immediately so you give away your money and details before you’ve had time to think.
It also states that you should never click on suspicious links or open attachments that you are unsure of.
Using SmartScreen for Microsoft Edge can help you block known phishing websites.
Staying aware of phishing scams can also protect you from Malware as often phishing emails contain fake attachments that can download a virus onto your computer.
Microsoft explains: “Malware is malicious software and is sometimes referred to as a “virus”. It can be designed to do many different things including stealing your personal data, identity theft, using your device to quietly attack other machines, using your computer’s resources to mine cryptocurrency, or any number of other malicious tasks.
“There are a few ways your machine can get infected with malware but the most common ways are by opening a malicious file attachment, or downloading and opening a file from an unsafe website.”
To avoid malware, be cautious of email attachments and make sure you update Windows whenever new software is avaliable.
Tech support scams
The final thing Microsoft warns about is scams that pretend to offer you IT assistance.
It said: “Another attack that we see often is the technical support scam. In this attack the scammer contacts you and tries to convince you that there is something wrong with your computer and that you should let them “fix” it for you.
“The two most common ways they contact you are via fake error messages on your computer, or by calling you on the phone.”
You’ll see these fake error messages on malicious or compromised websites.
Try and avoid clicking on any error pop-ip messages that aren’t from your Windows PC.
Microsoft says: “Remember that real error messages from Microsoft, or other big tech companies, never include phone numbers for you to call them.”
It also says it would never cold call you to tell you about a problem.
Close your browser if you see lots os scary pop-ups and try restarting your computer.
You can also report scams at https://microsoft.com/reportascam.
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