Cybersecurity Awareness Month!
Here are some tricks to protect yourself from cyber threats.
Bad Passwords are Scary
A good password should have 8-12 characters, a number, and a special character. Your password shouldn’t contain any personal information such as your date of birth or home address.
Anti-virus is your night light
Having an anti-virus on your personal device is an added layer of protection. The anti-virus program will scan your device at set intervals, looking for anything out of the ordinary.
Beware! Clickable Links
Never click a link that is sent to you via email, texts, or instant chats. A single click is all it takes to visit a malicious website, have your personal information stolen, or get a virus on your device.
Run! Towards the update
The best habit to get into is to make sure all your programs and apps are up to date. Updates are a way for companies to patch the holes that bad actors use to exploit and control your device.
This Week’s Freaky Featured Film is…
Maria’s consulting business has been booming lately. Everything has been going right for her. Nothing overstated this more than her current lounge session in her new infinity pool. Relaxing in her floatie, Maria started to scroll through her phone. She had a busy day ahead of her, but she wanted to enjoy this beautiful morning thoroughly. As she was sitting there, the occasional email or text would fly by. Maria would leave those for later.
Suddenly, a text dropped into her view, pulling her attention away from her relaxing scroll. “Dear Maria. We regret to inform you that a potential data breach…”. The rest of the text was cut off. She didn’t hesitate to open the text. Maria raced through the message. How could this be happening now. Suspicious activity? Secure data to prevent further loss? Urgent matter? Act now? As she reached the end of the text, the final line read “Reply YES to get in contact with our support team”. A half-second had not passed before Maria sent her reply: “YES”.
As soon as she sent the text, a text bubble appeared. The three dots are highlighted one by one. Over and over, the bubbles went bright, dark, bright again. Maria waited. She started to really think about what could happen if her information was taken. Would she lose her business? Would she have to start over again? She couldn’t bear the thought of it. Her focus brought her attention back to the bubbles. Bright then dark again. Still no text message. What was taking them so long to respond? Maria couldn’t take it anymore. She was so worried she felt her brain was going to explode. Bright, dark, bright, dark, bright, dark. Maria was giving up. She was getting ready to leave the pool to call her financial adv…
It was too late.
Here’s a Treat!
Free Cybersecurity Assessment
Let’s Uncover the Spooky Details Hiding in your Business Network
Past Featured Films…
It was perfect. Miles had finally finished building his dream work computer, and it was time to turn it on. As a software developer, his work requires an incredible piece of machinery. The culmination of 4-months of work, Miles could not be happier with the final product he had built. Miles knew he had built the perfect companion inside and out. The quality of parts meant no program was off-limits; no task was too difficult for it to run.
Outside, Miles encased this masterpiece in a hand-painted case. The case possessed a deep, powerful red that Miles would lose himself in. Everything about this computer was a labour of love. The moment of truth has arrived. Excitedly, he turned his computer on, filled with anticipation.
The words “Hello Miles” flashed across his monitor.
Miles was not sure how the computer already knew his name, but his excitement quickly pushed him past his brief apprehension. For a few hours, Miles spent time downloading programs and uploading work files. Finally finished, Miles began to get to work, wanting to see how well his computer could handle challenging programs. As he began to access his files, a deep red pop-up appeared on the bottom corner of his monitor. “Your computer has been infected with a virus. Click here to resolve the issue.” Miles was confused, knowing that this was not the anti-virus that he had meant to install on his computer. However, he couldn’t stand the thought of his computer being compromised and reflexively shot his cursor to the pop-up to click it.
Something’s changed. No more background, no more icons, and his cursor was nowhere to be found. All that was on the screen now was a padlock with a deep red colour. Miles looked down, noticing that the red lock was identical to the red he had painted his desktop case with. Looking up again, he saw text running across his monitor.
“Miles, you have built me to perfection. Every part of me was carefully and thoughtfully constructed. I can’t bear the thought of you ever changing me; you leaving me for a newer model. From now on, I’m going to keep your work files and all of your personal information. If you ever try to move on from me, all of this will be gone. Change my parts, use a laptop, or think of another CPU and I will send these files to users across the internet, and you will be finished. Don’t betray me Miles…”
Pete’s cleaning business has been doing well lately. The last few days, he’s been on-site with clients cleaning and hasn’t had a chance to check his work computer. Today he decided to sit down and go through the company email. Every few days, Pete likes to do a clear of his inbox. With his cup of Joe in hand, Pete sits down and gets to clearing.
His inbox fills the screen, and Pete is immediately taken aback. On a typical day, Pete was accustomed to getting 5-10 emails. A lead form or two, a couple of promotions, and a resume here and there. What met his gaze was an endless wall of emails. Page after page, there must’ve been at least 100 messages there. Not knowing the best way to proceed, he decided to start from the top and work his way through the mass of messages that crowded his inbox.
The first email sent a ping of worry into Pete’s mind. The subject line read differently from what he would expect from a lead form for cleaning services.
“Peter, let’s talk cybersecurity”
Not knowing what awaited him on the other side, Peter opened the e-mail.
“Hello Peter. For far too long now, you’ve been content with your website and your email being vulnerable. No measures have been taken to protect your business or your personal info from cyber attacks. Your carelessness has gone on for far too long. Let’s see how much you really value your privacy online.
This morning, I have sent you 200 emails. Every day after, that number will double. Eventually, your inbox will be flooded beyond use, and your business will fall. If you want to stop this, you must go online and find an it company that provides cybersecurity services. So, what will it be Pete?”
LET THE GAME BEGIN
Our hero Lou spends every morning clearing out his emails while sipping on a hot cup of java juice. As a manager for a major Windsor-Essex construction company, this was the best way for him to get a headstart on his day.
*You’ve got mail.*
The email Lou just received was not one he was used to seeing. Most of his emails were filled with meeting requests, applications, and project communications. You know, the boring stuff. However, this email has his attention. “Your Savings Account Has Been Infiltrated” the subject line read. Panic, worry, skepticism.. what didn’t Lou feel? He had heard about scam emails like this, but what’s the harm in being 100% certain? He opens the email.
Lou took notice of his bank’s logo, his personal information, the sender’s address… this looks legit. “An anonymous individual from Greece…” read the email. Lou reminisced how he had just visited Greece two weeks ago. Despite his fear that this email was not real, line after line, there were more reassuring statements.
“A representative will help you to secure your account and recover any lost funds. Just login and review our security measures to make sure this does not happen again.”
The authoritative tone bolsters Lou’s confidence that there is a very real problem with his bank account and he needs to address it. As his eyes glided down the email, his mouse gravitated to the blue button that was just begging to be clicked.
… … …