We have seen an increase in the level of Phishing Attacks and Ransomware Attacks over the past few weeks.
It is imperative that you are extremely cautious about opening email attachments and clicking on links within an email. Simply opening a pdf attachment can expose your email and password, leaving you compromised.
Ransomware encrypts all of your data and then tries to force you to pay a ransom
Some of the ways you can get infected by ransomware or phishing include:
- Visiting unsafe, suspicious, or fake websites.
- Opening emails and email attachments that you weren’t expecting or from people you don’t know.
- Opening malicious or bad links in emails, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media posts, or in instant messenger chats, like Skype.
- Be extremely suspicious of emails coming from UPS that request you to click a link or an attachment. If you are expecting a package go directly to UPS or Fedex and enter your tracking number
- Also be suspicious of emails purporting to come from Microsoft or Office 365 that request you to enter your credentials
- Any Email requesting you to make a financial transaction should be viewed with suspicion.
You can often recognize a fake email and webpage because they have bad spelling, or just look unusual. Look out for strange spellings of company names (like “PayePal” instead of “PayPal”) or unusual spaces, symbols, or punctuation (like “iTunesCustomer Service” instead of “iTunes Customer Service”).
So what can you do to protect yourself
- Ensure that you have a Secure Hosted Exchange Email Service (You definitely want to move away from using a Yahoo email)
- Look at the senders email address at the top of the email. You can detect most fake emails simply by looking at the email address
- Install “Report Message” from the outlook Add-ins Store.
- Enable multifactor authentication. This can be a pain, but if the bad guys get your email address and password and try and log in from their computers it will send a text message to your cellphone. It’s not completely fool proof, but it definitely adds a strong layer of protection against the hackers
- Change your email password regularly – again this is a pain, but if you want to protect yourself then it is important to take these steps
- Have complex passwords for your emails or for Remote Access
- If you remote in to the office, consider using a paid subscriptions to Logmein or using a VPN.
Above all, simply pay attention and think before you click any links or attachments