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Email Threats / Online Threats

posted Mar 28, 2017, 8:04 AM by Andrew Chadick   [ updated May 30, 2018, 8:24 AM ]
Cyber Attacks almost always start with a single email.  Inside that email are links, disguised to get you to click on it.  They are camouflaged in such a way that they peak your curiosity, you ignore the fact that you aren't sure you should do it or not, you just do it.  Right at that single moment, your click, the malicious hacker has you.  It doesn't matter if you were expecting cute puppies or to update your bank information.  Your personal computer reaches across the Internet and connects to a malicious server. That server does what it's designed to do - it attacks your computer and it takes everything that it can. You will be tricked, asked to click further, enter personal identifiable information (PII), enter in a password, you will execute triggers to install software in the background, you will unknowingly add files to your PC, you will lower your firewall, and during all of this - you won't even realize it is happening, you will be looking at cute puppies.  

In other words; 'Email Phishing' is getting better and better every day, or worse and worse depending on your perspective; the people crafting phishing email have made it to a point in their craft, where it is very difficult to tell whether or not an email inbound to your box is genuinely from  or an attempt to get you to click a link and have it take over your computer. Even up to date anti-virus is no match for the dreaded "zero day" exploit.  
So, as users of email services, we always have to be on top of our game and always watching out for phishing attempts. Some are pretty easy to spot, some not so much.

So; Please, if you receive an email, and it asks you to click a link, and you are not expecting such an email from this source, please simply delete the email.  It does not matter if its from your bank, or your insurance company, or any other vendor you deal with on a daily basis. It is 100% better to delete the email and remove the risk of infection, then it is to take a chance with curiosity to see where something goes or leads to on the Internet.

If you feel that you need to find out more, you have 2 options.  1, old school, pick up the phone and call.  2, open a web browser and in the address bar, type in the URL of that institution or use an existing bookmark.  Don't use the links from that email.  

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