08 Dec Do you give email security a second thought?
Do you think before you open emails? What about email attachments? Frighteningly 7 in 10 Brits do not see email as a threat to their computer security, despite the fact that email attachments are one of the most common sources of computer virus attacks.
Simply opening an infected email or attachment can lead to a virus, worm or Trojan. We all use email all the time so for many of us just opening an email is something we do without even thinking. Whilst it is virtually impossible to 100% guarantee that you don’t get a virus there are a number of steps you can take to try and improve your security.
Improving email security
• Don’t publicise your email address on websites, chat rooms and forums
• Take care when opening emails from unknown sources, be particularly wary if the subject line looks suspect. If it contains swear words, references to nudity or promises to make you rich quick then you should definitely be suspicious. Worryingly a fifth of people would open an email with a swear word in the subject line and 10% of people admit they’ve opened email that mention nudity.
• Think before you open an attachment, do you know where it has come from?
• If you are sent a file to download make sure it has come from a trustworthy source and that it is something you want before downloading it. Don’t be tempted to download something to find out what it is!
• The same goes for clicking links within emails. There have been numerous phishing scams that appear to come from legitimate sources such as high street banks and the Inland Revenue asking people to click the link and update their personal details. These can often look very convincing so it is important not to be taken in by the branding, if in doubt always check before sharing any personal information or account details etc. Instead of clicking through to the website from within the e-mail, open a separate web browser and visit the business’ website directly or verify that an e-mail is in fact from a legitimate business by calling the business or agency to check.
• Never reply to an email that you believe is spam.
• Think before forwarding emails, you could be unknowingly spreading a virus to colleagues or friends and family. Emails from unknown sources that ask you to forward them on should definitely be treated with caution.
• Think about the information you send in an email. Be honest have you emailed bank details or credit card information before?
• Ensure you have up to date antivirus software installed.
If you are unfortunate enough to have issues with your computer security we can help by providing virus removal support. Once the problem is solved we’ll be happy to advise on hardware and software solutions to prevent it happening again.