Great! You’re interested in protecting yourself! Here’s a fast and effective way to spot a suspicious email before the bad guys fool you into giving away your information.
On a previous post, I mentioned that the bad guys who want your personal information (including logins and passwords) have evolved beyond attaching viruses. One very common
new method is to send a link to a malicious website. The website may look legitimate, but when you log in, it actually sends your information to the bad guys. Another method is to include a .doc or .pdf attachment which can (and often does) contain a malicious link. This attempt to steal your personal info is called “phishing.”
How do I identify a “phishing email” before I ever click the link or open the attachment? In the screenshot below, I’ve circled 5 giveaway signs often seen in phishing and other malicious emails.
As tempting as it can be, I recommend not opening any attachment in an email until you have some other confirmation from the sender that it is legitimate.
But opening the document or clicking on the link are not usually harmful in themselves. It’s their secondary stage in which you can get in trouble. This includes enticing you to enter a login/password or enabling macros in an Office document. This is the most frequent entry point for today’s malware. Always run an antivirus Full Scan on your computer immediately to find and remove malware if you suspect malicious activity.
The good news is that you can prevent this from happening in the first place. You can run a real-time anti-exploit scanner to catch many malicious links, but “smart browsing” is just as, if not more, effective. For small businesses, a mail proxy provides an additional line of defense, and only costs a few dollars per month. If you’d like our cybersecurity engineer to improve your computer or mobile device security, or investigate and fix any problems after a potential infection, give us a call at 941-270-3005 or visit FloridaCoastIT.com for additional information and to request personal assistance.