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Special Announcement by N.D. Nerhood Consulting

Cybersecurity and Telemarketer Spam

Every day, millions of Americans are faced with unwanted phone calls and email boxes filled with spam infested messages that have little to no meaning to them.    Those lucky trips and millions of promised dollars that are available to you from lost cousins in Abu Dhabi are just one example of scammers and thieves waiting to pounce on your weakest moves.


We are finding that more and more individuals, young and young at heart, are easily becoming targeted by these bogus and horrible individuals looking to take what doesn't rightfully or lawfully belong to them.   There is hope and there is time to educate everyone on the importance of cybersecurity and how to disregard those scammer, spam phone calls you get.


The rules are simple and you have to follow them.   Here are some simple things to watch and listen for:


1.  Anyone that insists they need a social security number from you, whether it be by email or by phone especially if they call you,  is no good!


2.  Nothing in life is free, and if it is, then I'd suggest you question it over and over again.   If it's from a source that you trust, that is one thing.  But steer clear from anyone offering you a free trip or anything else that sounds "too good to be true."


3. Never give out any pin numbers or bank account numbers.   Banks and financial institutions will NEVER ask you for  confirmation of a social security number nor will they ask you for a credit card number.   The only caveat to that would be if YOU called your bank and they need to verify some information from you.   But just make certain that you know you dialed the right number and that you know who you are talking to.


4.  Make sure you have updated antivirus and malware protection on your computers.   Hackers and thieves love to use technology to gain access to your stuff and if you give them an open back door to do it, trust me they will get in.  Think of it like this...you wouldn't leave the front door to your house wide open while you go on vacation would you?  Chances are that you'd come home to a completely empty house, vandalized situation, or worse yet.....no house at all.   


5.  Don't open or read email messages that contain subjects that look questionable and don't open them if you don't recognize the sender.   Chances are if you have done so, it's too late.   But there is hope.    We all do it, but we have to be mindful of what we have in our inboxes and be certain that we trust the source they come from.


6.  If your email message has an attachment, and it's not from someone you trust.....DO NOT OPEN IT OR FORWARD IT TO ANYONE ELSE!!!!!!!  This is how the worst of viruses spread, and trust me they are nasty to clean up.


7.  Do not ever put your credit card or debit card number into a website unless you see the "lock-pad" icon in the browser next to the "https:" url bar.   This is a common mistake we make and its also the easiest way for hackers and thieves to steal your credit card.   Without that "lock-pad" symbol, how do you know if a site is encrypted?  It's best to only work and pay on websites that promote SSL encryption (128-bit, 256-bit, in addition to/or other combinations is preferred).


8.  Create strong passwords and don't use common things in them like your name, the word "password" and/or repetitive numbers like "12345" etc.   These are common and can be very easily broken by hacking software and hackers.   When possible use lots of special characters (#$%*&, etc etc.).  Oh, and don't write your passwords down on paper sticky notes attached to your computer monitor.


There are many more ways you can protect yourself and I can help.   We live in a society where it is tough to trust anyone and each day that goes by it gets harder and harder.   People are out to make money in anyway they can and if stealing it is the way to make it happen, then crooks will try anything.   You need to safeguard yourself against cyber crimes and the rate that they occur is rapidly increasing.    But there is time to learn more and if you want to know more about what services are available to you, please reach out to me.   I do not look to be compensated to educate individuals on cyber security so if you want to know more, don't worry, I'm not looking to take your hard earned money.   I just want you all to be educated so that you can protect your friends and family from potentially falling victim to identity theft and cyber crimes that are out there.


God Bless!  - and be safe on the phone and online!

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Check out this great and enthusiastic video by Well Cast on cybersecurity and overall "Internet" safety that you and your family can benefit from.

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