Proactive Data: Blog
Workstation Email Security- Mindful Precautions
Your workstation email is something you probably typically deal with on a daily basis. Undoubtedly, you get ten, twenty, or more emails on any given day. Some emails you know you need to read and get back to right away. If your boss sends you an email in the middle of the day with “urgent” as the title, you need to read it quickly and see what needs to be done, right?
The simple answer is, yes. However, it is a great habit to get into to first look at the email sitting in your inbox. Does anything about the way it looks appear to be off to you? Just because it has your boss’ name, doesn’t mean it came from them. It is not difficult for hackers to get access to your contacts and to make it appear as though an email as come from someone you know, when it fact it is a virus or other malicious program.
Look Closely at That Email Before You Open It
Try to avoid getting into a rush and simply opening emails blindly. Look at the sender field of the email and ask yourself if an email from this person usually looks like that. Look at the subject and allow yourself to consider if the title makes sense. A lot of hackers are from other other countries and their lack of English skills can be an alarm.
You can reduce the amount of “small” service calls to your IT specialists simply by taking the time to look a little closer at emails before opening them. Open the wrong email and you may be opening a huge can of worms that could take hours or even days to fix. Of course, you don’t have to stress over each email you get in your inbox; just pay closer attention and look for any warnings or something that feels off.
It may be worth making a phone call or a trip down the hall to ask the person if they sent you an email. If you get an email that looks dangerous or if you ask and the person tells you they did not send it to you, make your IT specialist aware so they can takes steps to further secure your email.
Common Sense Goes a Long Way
This should go without saying, but there are a surprising number of people who will fall for these types of emails. Simply put, you didn’t win that contest that you never entered. A very common spam or even malicious email that people get will tell you that you’ve just won this amazing trip. Well, if you never entered a contest, you probably didn’t win.
Contests, prizes, sweepstakes, and similar terms are used a great deal by spammers and hackers in order to attract your attention. Sometimes it is to get you to enter your information into a form, and sometimes it is simply just to get you to open the email. Just use common sense and your best judgment when considering if you should open that email or not. You’re smart; don’t let a busy or hectic day make you do something foolish.