Semalt: Simple Tricks To Ensure Email Safety

Every person accessing the internet has to use email at some point whether they want to or not. An email stands as the "de facto" medium of communication, as companies continue to use email to communicate with others, and this is something that is not likely to change.

The fact that everybody has access to email is the main reason why they should try everything in their power to protect against viruses, ransomware, and malware sent through email. As companies continue to deal with more sensitive information through their emails, hackers consider them very valuable and try just about everything to get their hands on it.

Some of the common infections are a result of poor handling and use of emails. Artem Abgarian, the Semalt Customer Success Manager, has prepared a list of ways to secure emails:

Do Not download Attachments from Unknown Senders

It is the simplest advice one could ever get. If an email reaches the inbox and the sender does not seem familiar, discard the email at once. Some of the hackers nowadays have come up with a new tactic where they create a sense of importance or urgency in their emails. Upon opening these emails, users normally find an attachment to it.

Hackers use even the most innocuous-looking attachment to hide their malicious code. Others like to use spoof techniques to appear as if they are legitimate senders. Spoofing allows them to use complicated techniques to make it seem like their email headers and addresses come from credible sources. Always be on the lookout for such emails as they pose a huge threat on all email messages.

The Word Doc

Most people would not know this, but .doc and .docx extensions are some of the most popular vectors that hackers use to infect emails with malware. It is no doubt that Microsoft Word documents benefit a great deal from these "macro" features. Nevertheless, hackers may use them to ferry dangerous viruses.

Already, there are reports of complex ransomware, spreading through emails, with the initial source being a word file. Therefore, unless the sender is affirmed to be above-board, avoid Word attachments as they could be damaging viruses.

Never Share Personal Information

Currently, the only known way through which hackers gain entry into the cyber-security for organizations is through phishing, as reported by Verizon. If hackers do it right, phishing would not require any technical expertise. The reason is that once employees spread personal information like passwords and usernames, criminals break into these IT systems and steal the information from these emails. It then becomes easier to attack the larger organization using details taken from employees working there. In most cases, phishing attempts come from users claiming to be IT workers looking to reset a password and ask to send over personal information.

Never Click on A Link Embedded in an Email

If one receives a suspicious email with a link with the instructions to click on it, always disregard the email. The hyperlinks provided here can easily redirect to download pages which consist of malware, Trojans, and other viruses.

Change Passwords Regularly

Making sure to have a different password now and then is the best way to prevent brute-force attacks. Users should do so at least once or twice every month.