By now, most of us know not to click on dodgy looking attachments, or follow links from emails purporting to be from our bank. But what if the email looks absolutely genuine and appears to be coming from a website we’re familiar with?
I just received a number of emails that appear to be from social networking website Linked In. They looked absolutely genuine to me, but when I clicked on the link to review my Inbox there was a pretty unpleasant ‘Trojan Horse’ virus waiting for me at the other end that, if it weren’t for my vigilant anti-virus software, would have infected my computer and sent all sorts of personal details (including bank codes!) to goodness knows who.
So how can we protect ourselves from this kind of attack? I’m going to share with you 3 steps that you can adopt that should keep you safe:-
1. Be aware. It’s okay to be mildly suspicious of any email that contains links or attachments. Don’t let it ruin your life, but it’s certainly worth bearing in mind - were you expecting the email? Is there something a little off about it? For example, I received this email about 6 times, all with different names in the Reminders section (see right – it says From Harriet Colbert (Friend) – even if I had only received it once, I have never heard of Harriet Colbert.
2. Don’t Follow Website Links. If you receive an email from Linked In, PayPal, EBay or your bank, and it seems genuine just fire up a browser and type in the address manually – it’s going to take a couple of seconds extra but you can guarantee that you’re going to the right website.
3. Make sure you have reliable, up-to-date virus software. It sounds obvious but it’s surprising how many people leave themselves open to attack by not having up-to-date virus software – ignorance is not going to save you, if you’re not sure – ask someone. If your subscription has run out you are not protected. If you are a home user, you can obtain FREE virus software, I use Avast for my family computer and it’s what saved me today – you can get a free (no strings!) copy of Avast here.
I hope you’ve found this helpful – feel free to sign up to our SPAM FREE alerts by filling out the form on our contact page.
Saturday, September 25th, 2010 at 7:50 am | Internet Scams