The Greatest Gift of All: Email Advice

Child opening present on Christmas

It’s the season of giving, and so we’d like to offer to all of you a free gift!

It’s advice; advice that will save you lots of grief and money.

Here it is: BE MORE VIGILENT WITH YOUR EMAIL.

More than ever, viruses and malware are coming to your inbox in cleaver and seemingly legitimate ways – emails from Canada Post or UPS regarding your order, for example. They take advantage of likely scenarios – it’s likely that many of us have placed an online order and are expecting a shipment to be delivered – and it’s too easy to let your guard down and click on that link, or open that attachment. Here’s an example that I got the other day:

Phishing Email Example

When I saw it my first reaction was to believe what I was reading and take action immediately to cancel the order before my credit card was billed for something I didn’t purchase. Then I took another breath and moused-over the link; only to see that it doesn’t go to the same place that it says. Another breath, and I realized that apple.cancel.com isn’t the same kind of address that Apple would even have; it would be apple.com – not cancel.com! I took a screen capture before I deleted the email, so I could share it with others.

Here’s a great infographic that explains what you need to be looking at when you get emails:

Email Check List

You think you’ve got this covered because your virus protection and spam detection is pretty good? Think again. American cryptographer and computer security and privacy specialist Bruce Schneier challenges, “If you think technology can solve your security problems, then you don’t understand the problems and you don’t understand the technology.” The truth is that your vigilance and behaviour are the only things that will keep you safe. And if you think you’re ‘smarter than the average bear’ (showing my age here), how about taking this little test: https://www.opendns.com/phishing-quiz/

Or this one on the Government of Canada site: http://fightspam.gc.ca/eic/site/030.nsf/eng/h_00212.html

And if our gift doesn’t exactly fill you with Christmas Cheer, maybe it will keep your computer, your company’s network, and your contacts safe; and that is a priceless gift indeed!

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