The Internet is a scary, scary world when it comes to security. We are constantly under attack from cybercriminals who seek to obtain your information to get into your network then steal or take hostage personal or company data. However, with proper education and knowledge to identify when a criminal is trying to collect your personal information, you can thwart incoming attacks and save your company thousands of dollars. I’m here to tell you how!
If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.
Have you ever gotten an email saying you’ve won a free cruise or to provide your information to get something offered for free? Of course, you have, we all have. Cybercriminals use this kind of wording to users to trick them into providing them with your personal information. They exploit people’s good intentions and kind-heartedness for their malicious intent. Trust your judgment when you receive an email like this and never provide your personal information over an untrusted source, such as email.
If you are unsure if the sender is legitimate or not, there’s an easy way to check!
Take a look at the email address beside the sender’s name. If the email address doesn’t look like it’s from a legitimate authority or user, then the sender’s name it probably spoofed! Email addresses containing a group of random numbers and letters is a good indication that the email address is illegitimate. Be sure not to download the attached file or click on the links that they forward to you!
Be sure that you’re protecting yourself.
There are numerous ways to layer your email security. Set up MFA, or multi-factor authentication, for your email address. MFA will send you a code via text or through an app such as Google Authenticator that you can use on top of your password. A cybercriminal might be able to steal your password, but it’s unlikely that they will have your phone too. While we are on the subject of passwords, be sure to change it now and then and don’t use the same password for everything you have! LastPass and Keeper are great tools to use as a vault for your passwords.
Don’t get too attached!
If you get an email with an attachment from an unknown source or something that looks just a little sketchy, don’t download or open the attachment on your computer! A better option would be to view the email on your mobile phone, then click the link or attachment to view its contents. If you encounter suspicious activities or perceive malicious intent, swipe right and delete the message directly from your phone. As always, use your best judgment when viewing emails, following links, or opening attachments. Feel free to forward the email to us at support@ITinspired.com and we can assist in vetting your email sources!
Practice makes perfect.
Arming yourself with this knowledge and putting to practice the items listed above, you can better arm yourself against the ever-growing cyberattacks. Identifying a malicious email is only half the battle. If you see one, be sure to let your colleagues know and show them how you could identify this attack. Let’s cut the line on email phishing attacks!
This blog post was written by team member Bryan Hagen who focuses on infrastructure and customer service for ITinspired.