Have you been guilty of clicking on a what looks like an innocent link, and wondered why strange stuff happens shortly afterwards?
I’ve noticed that recently there’s been a big increase in reported ransomware attacks. It always seems to be the same story: an email carrying a link that some hapless user carelessly clicks on, a link that’s designed to:
- Install malicious software on your computer such as malware, viruses and ‘ key-loggers’, which basically record everything you type.
- Install programmes which allow outsiders access to your computer and everything on it, personal files, photographs, webcam, microphone etc.
- Direct you to fake websites, aimed at stealing your personal information.
- Hijack your email account, to post adverts, other links, and infect more people.
Such attacks used to be easy to spot, arriving in the form of obvious spam emails from bizarre sources with laughable attempts to lure you into clicking on the link.However, internet tricksters are getting wiser. For businesses, this means their emails can often be disguised as customer queries or sales emails.
So make everyone aware of the risks that any email from an unknown source, even one that appears to be from a potential client should be treated with caution. Such emails may not be all that they seem.
To minimise your risk of falling victim to any of these tricks, here are some basic rules:
1. If you are sent any links, think before you click and check the source, if you don’t know where it has come from alarm bells should sound.
2. If the link is to a website you think you know, manually type in the website address, that way you know you’re visiting the right place.
3. Check the web address on any links you are sent to ensure it looks legitimate, for example is it spelt correctly?
4. Don’t be drawn in by click-bait tactics – messages like “OMG you HAVE to see this!” are designed specifically to make you click before thinking.
5. If the email carries an offer that seems too good to be true, like free tickets or an amazing giveaway, it probably is!
And my final piece of advice - ” If in Doubt - Do Nowt! ” Better safe than sorry.
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