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Top Stories Updates from CTS

  • How to Choose an IT Professional -
    Everybody needs help with something. Sometimes we are afraid to call out and get help. There can be many reasons for this, it can be pride, embarrassment, time or even cost. When it comes to computers, people don’t know who to trust. They know things are not working right, but they seem to get along more


  • Windows XP End of Support -
    Support and updates for Windows XP will no longer be available after April 8th 2014. What does this mean? more


  • Target
    You may be aware of the credit card security breach at Target. The issue arising from it is now secondary as there are clever emails spoofing Target's CEO asking you to join their credit protection service. It is a clever email because of its timing and the fear associated with the Target breach, but also because they do direct you to the proper site...but not for their offer to give you credit protection. This email is a phishing email and a second attempt to steal your personal information. DO NOT click the links in the email. Any service that Target offers you to repair this will direct you to their web site (read below how to detect proper addresses). Despite the links in the email, they will not take you to a secure Target corporate website to enter personal information. CTS has included what we hope to be useful information on how to avoid these type scams.

    Ways to avoid email scams

    • Rule 1- Be wary of EVERYTHING. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Avoid clicking links until you are sure they are okay. How can you tell by looking at the link? When you hover over the link, it should give you information in a small one line pop-up that tells you where you are being directed to. Often the link looks legitimate until you read it fully. Rather than clicking, copy the link and the paste it into a text page like MS Word or WordPad. This will allow you to examine the entire link.

    More on what a legitimate link should look like

    In order to keep with our philosophy of teaching you to fish, it is better to learn what legitimate link do rather than try to cover all the ways you can get spoofed. The truth of real links will remain the same tomorrow while the spoofs will change on a regular basis. Below we will compare some things to the Target issue.

    • Rule 2 - Know who you do business with. Often there will be a flood of phishing type emails. The emails are aimed at coercing you into giving personal information or having you click a link that installs and runs code that takes your information from your computer. You need to evaluate at the beginning - Is this someone I normally do business with? If so, is this the way we normally do business? If you think it is legitimate but you want to make sure, rather than click the link, go to their website. Chances are great if they are legitimate, you are going to see the offer on their front page or an offer type page....the Target issue is front page news. It will be on the front of their website, not in some unsolicited email.
    • Rule 3 -  At this point, ask some other simple questions. How did they get my email address? Simply swiping a CC at Target does not give your email address. Some more are ...Is this a bank issue or a Target issue? Your CC and its protection is issued to you through your bank. You and your bank should be dealing with this. Certainly Target has some responsibility and the whole issue is embarrassing. However, the issue of the breach is part of their agreement with the banks. While that is where the real responsibility lies, they have also caused some trust issues with the people. So, as you may see, you can divide up the issue to who you should be dealing with....Thieves are hoping to confuse you by spoofing this way.
    • Rule 4 - Apply these same type questions to every email that wants you to click on a link in that email. When you start to ask critical and sensible question like these, you will then begin to gain a sense of what is not right when it comes to clicking links sent to you in email. Take your time and don't react without thinking about it. If you are unsure, ask someone you trust on these type things...Or call us.