During the Christmas season people are constantly trying to find gift ideas and even buy gifts online. The challenge that comes from all of this, is to figure out where to buy items from, and at what price. Christmas is a time for scams because scammers know you are busy, and will click on links to download attachments very quickly.
The importance of email
Using email attachments makes a lot of sense and it can be very convenient and helpful all the time. The most important aspect to think about here is that email circulates with ease, it’s designed to work very well and you can share it with ease. But email attachments that are infected are easily opened and the issues appear out of nowhere too. The trick with all of this is that most people don’t really check where the email comes from, and they trust it automatically.
Since email programs try to address your needs, it’s very important for virus creators to mimic something that will boost your productivity. Any type of file can be attached, so the options are great and the uniqueness of the experience is very distinctive and certainly one of a kind here.
How can you protect yourself against any possible scams and attackers?
Don’t open unsolicited attachments
If you see random attachments, don’t open them at all. You never really know where they come from and who shares them, so unless they arrive from a source you can trust, ignore those. That’s why you need to check the source every time, because you need to be 100% sure you know where all these messages are coming from.
Keep everything up to date
It’s a very good idea to install all software patches available. They will protect your against any possible attacks and they will also deal with vulnerabilities or a variety of other problems. Most operating systems come with automatic updates, and you should also have updates for every software including email tools. Dedicated software patches can really help too.
In case you believe that the email you are about to open sounds and feels very fishy, avoid opening it. It’s a much better idea to avoid any email that doesn’t feel ok rather than opening it and dealing with problems. Check where the email comes from. A lot of scammers will use common graphics to try and make you click on something. And they will also rely on a sense of emergency. Don’t be curios and click right away, instead double-check to ensure everything works.
Save and scan the attachment
This also works, because you can identify any issues with your anti-malware tool, and that can be very handy. You need to make sure that the antivirus signatures are all up to date and you also want to have the file saved on the disk. Scan the file manually and open it only if the antivirus says that it’s clean. If it’s not clean, then the antivirus will most likely put it in quarantine anyway.
Stop the option to download attachments automatically
Lots of email programs are offering you the feature to download attachments automatically. It sounds great at first, but then you realize it’s not ok because some attachments can be full of malware. Disable that option right away.
Use an account with restricted privileges for opening emails
You need to do this because you will find it a lot easier to prevent malware from taking control of the user. Even if you have malware and it does that, the user will be limited in actions.
If you have multiple types of attachments you can filter them as that will help you a lot. This way you can avoid the potential problems that can arise.
So, this Christmas stay vigilant and watch out for any potential scams that may come your way.