As email becomes more mainstream and a part of our everyday lives, people need to be aware of basic steps they can take to ensure that their computers are secure and their information safe.
Never open an attachment that has come in an email unless the sender is well known and the attachment is expected. Viruses and malicious programs can hide in attachments on an email and infect a user’s computer as soon as it is opened. Since email can be the target of hackers and viruses, it is important to be sure that the message has really been sent from the person it states, as a virus can infect a computer and send emails out to everyone on their contact list. If the message does not seem like something the contact would send, just delete the email or get in touch with the person to be sure that they did send the email.
Clicking on Links
When an email comes in that instructs the user to click on a link, it is always advisable to just go directly to the internet and type the site address into the browser. Sometimes, an email will come in that states it is from someone who it actually has no affiliation with at all. When the user hovers over the link in the email without clicking on it, it will bring up the actual address that that link is directed to. This is a common tactic used to get sensitive information because when the user clicks on the link directly, it will take them to another site that may or may not look like the real one. If the user needs to log in with a password, it will record that information and be able to use it. These emails often say something about being from the user’s bank or credit card company, and they need them to log in to check on security or some other “problem”.
Being careful while reading and opening emails can prevent a host of future problems with both sensitive information, and the user’s computer itself.