A Cyber Criminals Best Weapon is Your Fear

There's a lot of talk anymore about how the NSA has leaked exploits that hackers can use to get into your computers, and how ransom ware viruses are running amok and causing all sorts of problems. But the leading cause of data breaches and computer infections are not exploited software bugs. It's exploited human fear.

Not only is Information Technology a relatively new field, but it's a rapidly changing field. Where the stakes keep getting raised as more and more of our lives and our livelihood is put into the hands of computers and little "clouds" in the internet.

Human psychology 101 is that we tend to fear what we don't understand. So whenever you get a call from someone at Microsoft saying your computer has a virus and all your data is compromised. Or you get a pop up that locks up your whole computer saying that all your files will be deleted unless you call this number in the next 5 minutes. They're all attempts to insight your fear, so that you'll do something or trust someone that you typically wouldn't.

Here's a few pointers to keep in mind. To help you respond, instead of react.

  • 1
    Microsoft will not call, nor do they want you to call them.
  • 2
    If you get a call or pop up that says you'll lose everything unless you act now!  DON'T ACT NOW.  If your computer is still working, 99.9% of the time it will still be working 10 minutes from now.  Putting a time limit helps stir up a sense of urgency.
  • 3
    If you let someone in your computer, even though you're watching what they're doing on your screen.  You really don't know what they're doing.  Are they scanning your computer for viruses?  Or installing one.  Are they running a diagnostic or just showing you a bunch of made up numbers and stats to get you to give them your credit card info?
  • 4
    If you have good backups, it doesn't matter what happens to your computer. Good backups are the best insurance to have.
  • 5
    Don't try to figure out your IT on your own. Outsource it to professionals.

If you have any questions feel free to reach out to us in the contact page.  You may not trust your computers, but you can trust us.

About the Author Tim Dixon

Tim Dixon is the owner of Solve IT Security.