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Email Cyber Hygiene
April 2019

Apr 29, 2019 | Business Owners | Families | Other | Retirees | Today's Professionals

“I am prince of Nigeria and I offer you exclusive business deal,” is, to most of us, an obvious scam. “Hey Sally, can you do me a quick favor? I’ll be in meetings all day, so let me know by email. Thx, Harry” is stealthier (if your name is Sally and you have a friend or coworker named Harry). As scammers are getting more sophisticated, so must we. Here are three tips to keep your computer and your personal information safe:

1.Click links sparingly

Marketers and scammers alike know how to make a link enticing enough for you to click. Link-clicking is the fastest way to get a computer virus or fraud-facilitating malware. If you receive an email requesting you to unlock your account (“just click here and enter your login information”) or inviting you to a personal sale (“Don’t miss out, click here!”), it is safer to go to your browser and navigate to the website than it is to click any links in your email.

2. If it looks legitimate, still be suspicious!

Were you expecting this email? Is this within the pattern of your relationship with the sender? If you hover over the email address with your mouse, does the info that pops up match what shows on the email itself? Does the domain really say gmail.com, or does it say grnail.com? That is the type of subtlety that could mean the difference between a ransomware installation and a “mark as spam” decision. If it looks like it’s from someone you know, it can’t hurt to call the person and ask before clicking.

3. Do not share personal information by email

Remember the advice to never give your credit card number over an incoming phone call? That advice has grown broader: never – and we mean NEVER – give any personal financial information over email. This includes account numbers, Social Security number, credit card numbers, tax information, and more. It also includes email attachments. When in doubt, upload the data to a secure vault or provide it over the telephone.

A little extra caution up front may be inconvenient, but inconvenience is the price we pay for informational security. Awareness and cyber hygiene are premiums that are well worth the expense for the insurance they give against cybercrime.

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