Phishing Season? Just a word to the wise, we have seen a large increase in the number of phishing attempts via email coming from France, Italy, Sri Lanka, and Canada. Most likely these are Chinese or Russian hackers pivoting through compromised servers. Our clients report email with orders for court appearances, email with website ranking reports, and email from just about every online service you can think of, (Yahoo, Google, Comcast, Bing, Microsoft, HP) and zipped "DMARC" reports. Here are a five tips to help avoid falling prey to ransomware attacks via phishing attempts:
1. Never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever open a .zip file you aren't expecting...
2. Do not follow links in email to banks, social media, accounts, or anything else that you need to log into. If you think the email is legit, just use your browser and the URLs you type in yourself, not the included links.
3. Turn off the 'Preview Pane' of your email client.
4. If you have an option, disable auto loading of images.
5. Always report spam when able. The more spam you report, the safer we all are. Even if this just means marking the email as junk.
If you believe you have made a terrible mistake and opened a compromised file, turn off your internet (on Dell it is [FN] + [F2]). Do not power off your machine, this stops services that the malware might hijack on restart. Run an antivirus scan right away. Contact your IT Support and be honest with them about what happened so they can help you. If you do not have Support and you need help with this or any other IT concern, Call us at 719.749.1112 for assistance.