FixMeStick’s Weekly Cybersecurity Round-Up: Apr 21st – 27th

Hey there FixMeFans and StartMeStars! We’re back for another edition of our weekly roundup! As always, we’re here to keep you updated on all that’s happening in the world of cyber security. 

This week we’re in the middle of dealing with hacked Facebook accounts, sextortion scams, and how Windows 10 updates are giving some computers a tough time. Continue reading to find out more!

Last week, over 309 million Facebook users had their personal information up for grabs on the Dark Web. The information leak wasn’t too critical, only containing full names, email addresses, phone numbers, timestamps for last connection, relationship status and the age of users – no passwords were exposed. 

However, this amount of information is perfect for scammers looking to exploit users with phishing campaigns. The more information scammers have on potential victims, the more likely they are to convince them to follow their scam. 

If you’re concerned about your Facebook privacy, you can always change your settings to reduce the amount of information available to scammers: 

  1. In Facebook, go to Settings & Privacy.
  2. Select “See More Privacy Settings”
  3. Set all relevant fields to either Friends or Only me.
  4. Set “Do you want search engines outside of Facebook to link to your profile?” to No.

In cases like these we always recommend updating your security settings and changing your passwords.

Recently, there have been reports of a sextortion scam making its way into people’s inboxes. In most cases, individuals receive an email indicating that their account has been hacked. The hackers, it seems, have gotten ahold of the individual’s personal information (in some cases their password) and are in possession of explicit videos, which they will make public if a ransom is not paid.

While receiving an email like this is undoubtedly a cause for alarm, it is important not to give into the scam. Likely, the hackers received their information from old data breaches, and they are simply banking on people to give in and transfer the funds. Reports indicate that scammers have made over $100 000 from these emails alone, so know that this is not an isolated incident.

If you’ve received an email similar to this, keep in mind that if a hacker really had access to explicit blackmail videos, they would show you the videos first, rather than show a dated password. In this case, no need to pay, and no need to worry. We typically recommend changing your password, just in case, and running a FixMeStick scan to ensure that your computer is clean.

For those of you who’ve updated your Windows 10 in the past little while, you may have noticed some things aren’t working as expected. With every update, Windows aims to fix security vulnerabilities, bugs, and performance issues – and while this often works for the benefit of your computer, this isn’t always the case.

Due to the size of the Windows user base, the variety of devices it’s used on, and typical coding bugs, errors are common, and in most cases are unavoidable. Since Windows’ last update, users reported issues with Bluetooth, internet connectivity issues, reduced performance, freezes and installation issues, as well as other standard issues.

Though these updates are generally for the betterment of your computer, sometimes they’re more trouble than they’re worth. If you’re worried about running into issues when the latest update strikes, you can always follow some steps to stop these updates from automatically going through. But be sure to keep on top of them as these often have security updates.

That’s all for this week! With the ongoing situation concerning the pandemic, there seem to be more instances of scams on the rise, so make sure you’re doing all you can to protect yourself while using your computer.