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A tool for phishing scams

Tech Talk

In a previous article, I wrote about the ever prevalent and shady practice know as phishing. Again, phishing is when a fake article, message, email or even a phone call hits one of your electronic devices stating that your computer is infected, or that something has been charged to you, or a myriad of other things that relate to your money and finances.

Let’s face it, when we hear that there is something going on with our finances, that we have not authorized, we panic. And that is probably the most important thing that makes this type of scam successful.

So, previously I gave you a few steps that you can take to try and avoid the scam. I will tell you that I have only once in my online searching and usage had a phishing page pop up on me. And here is why I feel that I have been able to avoid the phishing scams. I use what is called an “ad blocker.” It is an extension that you install in your browsers, and its function is to block the unwanted ads that are rampant all over the internet. What is an extension, you ask? Simply put, an extension is an add-on feature that you install in your web browser. There are all kinds of add-ons out there, some good and some bad. However, a good ad blocker is just the tool to help you fight against the phishing attacks.

Why does this ad blocker extension help to prevent the phishing issue? It’s because most of the phishing scams are pop-ups that come to your computer. I mean, how many times have you looked at your web pages, and seen tons of ads appear all over the place. It gets annoying, as you try and navigate and a pop-up ad suddenly appears on what you were reading. The ad block extension is designed to do it’s best to stop these little buggers!

I recently read an article on pcmag.com that the FBI had issued a recommendation on how to avoid malicious ads over the internet. Here’s a quote from that article: “Use an ad blocking extension when performing internet searches. Most internet browsers allow a user to add extensions, including extensions that block advertisements. These ad blockers can be turned on and off within a browser to permit advertisements on certain websites while blocking advertisements on others.” One thing to remember is that most of the phishing scams are falsely representing themselves as legitimate, real companies. That is why an ad blocker can help you to avoid the scam. And the nice thing about the ad blocker is that you can turn it on and off. So, if you are at your legitimate banking site, for instance, you can turn the ad blocker off so that you can sign in if there is a pop-up login window needed to accomplish the login. Another great feature is that you can add sites that you trust to a list of acceptable sites so that you can get the pop-ups that you want.

So, what is a good ad blocker to use? There are myriad of them out there, free and paid ones. I personally have had great success with one called Adblock Plus, so I can highly recommend it. It is a free extension that you can add to almost any of the more common browsers out there. This includes the browsers: Edge, Chrome, Firefox, Safari (Mac), Opera and others. It also has an app that you can use on your phones, both android and iPhone. Visit http://www.adblockplus.org for more information and to download the extension/app.

Most of your antivirus programs and antimalware programs have ad-blocking features that are either a part of your version, or one you can add. VPNs can also add that feature for you. Some web browsers also have the feature installed, however I find the add-on blockers work just as well or better.

Of course, there are so many options, that it can be overwhelming and daunting to decide what works for you. You can always reach out to me and I can help you decide what may be your best solution for an ad-blocker. I hope that this article has given you some insight about a tool that can help you combat the phishing scam.

Please, feel free to call, email or come in and visit my shop if you need help or have questions. I sure would love to meet you, even if just to shoot the breeze for a few.

For more information call Guy Martin at (661) 972-0448, email [email protected] or visit 20424 Brian Way, Unit 4 Tehachapi.