Staying Secure – Lets Stop this together
Let’s do our best to stop the scammers that are trying to steal your money – its big business for them.
Below are some examples of emails that contain a virus that, when opened will allow a virus to be downloaded to your computer and executed when the computer is restarted.
If you are infected, your computer or laptop will be ready to receive commands from the criminal’s server.
Normally the first command is to send a copy of itself to email addresses belonging to the contacts you have on your system.
My recommendation, should you receive any emails of this nature, simply delete them. Some of the emails look genuine and others don’t look so genuine, however you shouldn’t take the chance.
Here are a few tips
Nobody will send you an invoice or document in a Zip file.
.zip files are generally used to send a collection of files like pictures in a folder so if you opened a zip file and it contains only 1 file inside or one folder and you open that folder and it contains only 1 file like the example shown below, chances are its a virus !
Notice the .exe on the end?
This is called a file extension and this tells your computer what program to execute to view it – this is a program that will execute – not a form like the title states.
Some other examples of file extensions are
.scr – normally a screensaver file that runs code on your computer when left unattended, for example, it may show your pictures on the screen until you touch the mouse or keyboard.
.docm – Word macro which is code that executes from a word document
.dotm – Word template – same as above.
.xlsm – Excel spreadsheet which contains macros like Word.
.xlst – Excel template – same as above.
Some .pdf files look convincing but there are vulnerabilities in PDF readers that can execute code in embedded PDF documents.
This brings me to the next tip.
Keep your software up to date as well as your anti virus Software.
Please don’t say “what anti virus software”, if you are not sure what to do here, simply give us a call.
Make sure you run all the windows updates and run a full system scan every so often – at least once a week.
Who are they addressing?
If you get an email from the bank, communications company or somebody else that you have an account with, they will or ‘should’ always start the email with your name. Malicious emails tend to start with Dear Online Banking Customer or dear account holder or nothing at all !! If you are unsure – telephone the sender.
Check the spelling & Grammar.
Unfortunately, the criminals are improving and learning from their mistakes as genuine emails tend to have all the correct spelling and UK companies will spell in UK English so be suspicious of non UK English, for example “thru”, “inquire”, “color”.
Do not simply ‘Google’ your account holder’s website – make sure you type it as advised and then you can add it to your favourites for future use.
Make sure that you only sign in to a website that is secured, it should have a green banner with a padlock at the end of the address looking something like this.
Some sites may not have a green banner & just have a padlock on the end however if you click on it, it should give you the security certificate information – shown below is an example – either way, your details will be sent over the internet in encrypted form.
I will be adding more tips over time so please add our site to your favourites list.
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Freda Mealings, 2021