Grandma just sent you an email with a few attachments. You know Grandma isn't super tech-savvy, and you can't think of a reason why she would be sending you an email, it's probably best if you call before you click. Our IT expert, Randy Moore, joined the group over at The Big 550 KTRS for Tech Talk to share some advice on what to do before you click on risky emails. As part of our goal to educate end users for National Cyber Security Awareness Month, email security was a hot topic that affects millions of online users daily.
End User Security Education
We all mess up. Weaknesses in end user education can be one of the most critical flaws when it comes to protecting yourself online. We are all susceptible to becoming the victim of human error. It doesn't take long for a spammy email to make its way into your inbox and leave a door open to wreak havoc.
Some of the best telltale signs of recognizing whether an email has been sent with malicious intent are as follows:
- The email comes from a reputable source, but it's littered with misspelled words and grammatical errors.
- Someone from an email you don't recognize is sending you messages and wanting you to open links and attachments.
- Someone you do know is sending you links and attachments to click on, but you weren't expecting it or it is out of character for them.
- You've won a contest or sweepstakes you never entered into. Trust us, you probably didn't win a private island. Don't give them your information to cash in on your prize.
- The email says it's from a government agency and it's demanding immediate action. You will never be contacted by the government via email and they will not warn you this way that they are sending the authorities after you.
- The message just doesn't look right. Question it, being a critical consumer is one of the best things you can do to protect yourself online.
Email Best Practices are for Everyone
We aren't wanting to scare you away from ever using email. We just want to help you to be a critical consumer. Email security is important. If your email account is compromised you're leaving important personal information and your friends in your email list vulnerable. Good password hygiene, strong security settings, and getting acquainted with filtering things into your junk folder are all positive habits to adopt with email safety.
If you are concerned that your password or email address has been compromised, Randy mentioned that you can type your password into Have I Been Pwnd and you will be able to find out. If your commonly used password appears, you should change things up. If you've recently changed your password, but you're struggling to remember the changes, there are password management tools out there to help too. In a past Tech Talk segment, our experts had a few suggestions of secure tools you can use at home and work.
Tech Talk Presented by SumnerOne
Each week we join the conversation on The Big 550 KTRS on Friday afternoons at 4:20. Tech Talk is an opportunity for our IT Experts to share their knowledge and insight with consumers. Be sure to tune in Friday afternoon either on the radio or listen online. For more information about how our Experts work in action and how we can help your business through Managed IT Services, contact SumnerOne. Check out the full video from our segment last week down below.
Originally published October 18, 2018, updated February 12, 2019