SEVIERVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Cyberattacks have been on the rise, in fact, in the last five years, the FBI reported there have been over 2.2 million complaints about internet crimes. This increase is even being seen locally.
Sevierville Staples sales manager, Todd Heim said this has been a growing concern amongst their staff as they have seen more and more customers seeking their assistance.
“Some of the most common things we see are just pop-ups on the computer that will disguise themselves as known companies that you may be using on your computer,” Heim said.
This can look like subscription renewals or companies claiming the user has a virus. Heim said they see about 2-3 customers per week, in addition to the phone calls they receive from concerned residents.
“While we have the capability of helping these customers out, and we hope to be able to for a long time, we want to protect them and be a part of that in our community,” he said.
Rob Glass, the CEO of Computer System Plus says there is one main red flag to take note of when trying to determine when there’s a possibility for a cyberattack.
“Bad emails, bad pop-ups always have a sense of urgency to them,” Glass said. “Click now, buy now, do this, you’re infected—threat actors love to use urgency to get people to click and move forward.”
For those that happen to click, and believe their computer has fallen to hackers, Glass said there are steps you can take to help avoid further destruction.
“Turn it off, just turn it off and take it to a professional to get cleaned,” he said. “In between time, it’s always advisable to change passwords.”
Glass also advises using multi-factor authentication. It’s a method that only allows a user to access a website or application after successfully presenting two or more pieces of evidence that shows you are truly the one trying to gain access.
Users can also pull a credit report, or ask their bank or credit card company to watch their account closely. Lastly, Glass suggests getting good anti-virus or malware protection, as well as making sure data on the device is backed through backup and cloud services. This can be helpful for not only malware and hacks but for any computer failures in general.
“Be cautious about everything. Every email, every banner, every pop-up, think twice, think three times before clicking and moving forward,” Glass said.