Email Safety Tips to Keep in Mind

Happy Computing Tip #110:
Email Safety Tips to Keep in Mind
By Switch, the I.T Support Robot

Why Beware? 

We all depend on email for our business and personal communications.  Modern email systems are amazingly powerful and useful, but if we are careless, email can get us in a lot of trouble.

What Could Happen?

Look at the news stories recently of large corporations being hacked, leaking credit card info, and sometimes even losing control over their network hardware.  On a smaller scale, thousands of individuals have their identities compromised and their bank accounts attacked.

How Do I Prevent This?

Awareness.
In that one word comes the greatest weapon for defending yourself from malicious emails.

Two types of emails to watch out for:
1.The “phishing” attempt.  These are designed to look legitimate, but the links will actually present a fake login page where the bad guys can grab your username and password.
2. Scare tactics.  Emails designed to scare you with false alarms about how infected your computer is.  You will be presented with offers to buy their protection, but its really just a scheme to get your credit card info.

If you ever get an email that you are unsure of, send it to us (switch@switchtx.com) and we can take a look for you!

When Should I Be Alert and Aware?

Always.  But don’t overreact, the sky is not falling.  The majority of the email we get is either legitimate, or is harmless (if annoying ) advertising.  A few simple habits will help a great deal.

Don’t click a link in an email unless you absolutely know and could verify the source.  Better safe than sorry!  Instead, type the web address into your browser manually to visit that site.

Keep your anti-virus/anti-malware software up to date.

And use a good email spam filter!  Gmail has a good one, Microsoft Office 365 has a good one, and most business Exchange email accounts do a pretty good job of it too.

Next time, lets discuss Phishing and Spear-Phishing email and how to detect it.

Safe Emailing & Happy Computing!!!