We have all seen or received them…an unexpected email with an enticing or urgent subject line, maybe even from someone you know. However, don’t rush to open it; think before you act! There are many things that come to you via email that can put you and Organization at risk.

What should I be on the look out for?

There are basically three types of risky emails:

  • Mass-mailing viruses – computer viruses that are capable of spreading via email
  • Phishing – a tactic used by identity thieves, to trick people into disclosing financial or other sensitive information, primarily by using email messages and counterfeit websites
  • Spam – unsolicited email messages sent to thousands or millions of recipients

Although Spam’s definition doesn’t seem to be a risk, it can be just as troublesome. Besides being unwanted, Spam can also be used as a delivery method for malicious software. Open a file or click on a link in a Spam message and you could be putting yourself at risk.

What should I do to avoid being impacted?

  • Ensure that your PC has the latest security software installed and that it is always up-to-date
  • Ensure that your PC has all of the latest security patches and updates installed
  • Do not open attachments within suspicious or unexpected messages, even from people that you trust. Viruses often look like they have been sent from someone you know.
  • Do not click on links to websites within suspicious or unexpected email messages.  If you are ever in doubt about the legitimacy of a message check with the sender.  Contact that person and ask if he/she sent such message before you trust it.
  • Do not publish your email address in public locations wherever possible
  • Do not reply to suspicious or unexpected messages
  • Enable junk filters in Outlook