Computer Viruses and Suspicious Emails
An Internet scam can happen to you at any time. Here is some insight on potential vulnerabilities and how they work.
Let's talk about a mild variant of what was ultimately a scam, but the following scam could have led to a CRITICAL security breach. The way this scam works is getting you to click on a link that takes you to a website that pops up a fake virus message telling you need to call in to have your computer fixed. If you call the number, the person on the other end will claim they work for Microsoft, and they start throwing out a lot of technical jargon to sound like your computer is compromised. They will then get you to download software to allow them to remotely control your computer and try to sell you a security package for several hundred dollars (that consists of a lot of free software found on the Internet) and if you don't agree to the security package, in a lot of cases, they will lock you out of the computer. Many of these scammers also install their own viruses that will collect data from the computer, leaving your personal data at risk, and in our case, leaving us open to loss of patient data.
These can go from mild to critical very quickly so we all must be vigilant with internet security. The two most common ways they disseminate these links are through social media and through email. With emails you should never click a link that you aren't 100% sure where it goes, even if you know the person that sent it. Many times they use social engineering or copies of old emails to spoof messages making it look like it came from a friend, but if the verbiage isn't typical for that person and they are urging you to click on a link, that is a good indicator you shouldn't. Same with Facebook and other social media, if you see a post urging you to click a link, you should probably avoid that link. A very popular one last summer was a link saying compromising pictures of you were being posted and you need to click the link to see them and stop them from being posted.
As scammers and hackers get more sophisticated, it does become more difficult to tell the difference, so if you do manage to click on one of these links DO NOT click on anything that pops up or anything on the website, stop using the device, and immediately report it to Chris Harrell via chat or email, with exactly what you were doing when it happened. At that point we can determine next steps and if it could be a more critical issue like a real virus, malware or ransomware.
Mistakes happen, however employees who repeatedly fall victim of one of these scams will be moved off a computer and onto an iPad to ensure that our network and patient data is not compromised.