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Tolar Systems Blog

Tolar Systems has been serving the Abilene area since 2000, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Don't be Phished In! How to Spot Malicious Emails

Fishing season may be starting soon, but there's another type of "phishing" that's always in season - and that's the kind that comes in your email, not at the lake.

Email is not only a mission critical tool for communication and collaboration, it's also one of the primary ways that criminals attempt to infiltrate client networks to steal data, hold it for ransom and damage business reputations. Over the last year, these attempts have escalated, placing our client networks at greater risk.

"Phishing" is the most common types of malicious email attacks we're seeing. And like most email-based attacks, phishing depends on user trust to work. So, our technicians took the lead on providing the following tips to help our clients prevent being "phished in."

Read on to learn more about the different types of phishing attacks, and what you can do to prevent being "phished in." 23509926 s

Phishing attacks take many forms, but they all share a common goal – getting you to share sensitive information such as login credentials, credit card information, or bank account details. Although Tolar maintains controls to help protect client networks and computers from cyber threats, users still play a key role in preventing these attacks from succeeding.

We’ve outlined below a few different types of phishing attacks to watch out for, along with some ways to protect yourself and your business.

4 Types of Phishing

  • Phishing. In this type of attack, hackers impersonate a real company to obtain your login credentials. You may receive an e-mail asking you to verify your account details with a link that takes you to an imposter login screen that delivers your information directly to the attackers.
  • Spear Phishing. Spear phishing is a more sophisticated phishing attack that includes customized information that makes the attacker seem like a legitimate source. They may use your name and phone number and refer to IT by Design in the e-mail to trick you into thinking they have a connection to you, making you more likely to click a link or attachment that they provide.
  • Whaling. Whaling is a popular ploy aimed at getting you to transfer money or send sensitive information to an attacker via email by impersonating a real company executive. Using a fake domain that appears similar to ours, they look like normal emails from a high-level official of the company, typically the CEO or CFO, and ask you for sensitive information (including usernames and passwords).
  • Shared Document Phishing. You may receive an e-mail that appears to come from file-sharing sites like Dropbox or Google Drive alerting you that a document has been shared with you. The link provided in these e-mails will take you to a fake login page that mimics the real login page and will steal your account credentials.

How To Protect Yourself

To avoid these phishing schemes, please observe the following email best practices:

  • Do not click on links or attachments from senders that you do not recognize. Be especially wary of .zip or other compressed or executable file types.

  • Do not provide sensitive personal information (like usernames and passwords) over email.

  • Watch for email senders that use suspicious or misleading domain names.

  • Inspect URLs carefully to make sure they’re legitimate and not imposter sites.

  • Do not try to open any shared document that you’re not expecting to receive.

  • If you can’t tell if an email is legitimate or not, please email for the IT team to review.

  • Be especially cautious when opening attachments or clicking links if you receive an email containing a warning banner indicating that it originated from an external source.

Thanks again for helping to keep our networks and personal information from these cyber threats.

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Employee Spotlight On: Rodney Rees

We've often been told that our people are what set us apart at Tolar. The recent rollout of our real-time customer feedback tool has confirmed it. Take, for instance, a recent client review we received about this month's Employee Spotlight subject, Rodney Rees.

Rodney was very pleasant and wonderful to work with. Thank you so much for the prompt service with a smile.

If you haven't yet had the chance to talk to Rodney, we hope you'll soon have the pleasure. He's a fun guy, and one of the most knowledgeable people you could hope to meet when it comes to technology. Learn more about him in this month's Employee Spotlight.

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Tips for Staying Safe with Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection

We take security very seriously here at Tolar Systems. That’s one reason we’re so excited about the latest security feature that’s available with Microsoft’s Office365 software. The feature is called Office365 Advanced Threat Protection: it helps keep users and businesses safe from a variety of online threats.

On today’s blog, we’ll talk about what Advanced Threat Protection is, how it works and how users can make their online experience safer by using it.

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Employee Spotlight on Suzanne Ramos

If you’ve ever called in to Tolar Systems to inquire about an invoice, you might have had the opportunity to speak with Suzanne Ramos, our Accounting Assistant and the subject of this month’s Employee Spotlight.

Suzanne’s role at Tolar Systems involves managing our Invoicing, Collections, Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, Payroll, and Purchasing/Returns processes. We interviewed Suzanne to learn more about how she sees her role and what’s important in her life. Learn more in this month’s Employee Spotlight on the Tolar Systems blog.

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Top Two Business Lessons Learned the Hard Way

Like all businesses, we've learned our share of lessons. We were recently asked what some of our toughest lessons in business have been. We are always learning, but here are two decisions that we think have made the biggest difference in our growth and ability to serve our customers.

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Employee Spotlight on Farrah Meadows, Tolar Systems' Service Manager

At Tolar Systems, we know that our clients don't just choose us for the quality of solutions and technology that we provide. They also choose us for the customer experience.

That's why we're excited to welcome Farrah Meadows to our team as our new Help Desk / Service Manager.

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Spotlight on Values – What the Golden Rule Means to Tolar Systems’ Clients

At Tolar Systems, our core values are the guiding principles that determine how we do business. More importantly, they guide our relationships with our customers, community, employees and partners. But what do those values really mean to customers? What can you expect when working with Tolar Systems?

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Seven Technical Support Tips to Get the Best Service From Tolar System’s Help Desk

We recently surveyed our clients and were pleased to find that most Tolar Systems' customers are very satisfied with the technical support they receive from us. We also learned that some of our clients have questions about how best to communicate with our help desk to get fast and efficient support.

“How to get support more quickly” is actually one of the most common questions users have about working with a help desk for technical support – whether that’s in-house or outsourced technical support. That’s why we wanted to offer these tips for getting the best technical support from any help desk department.

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