Unfortunately, fake emails are increasing in popularity and are now more and more sophisticated. We will show you the top 2 types of emails you must be aware of to protect yourself against fraud.
Type 1: The email message with a file attached
This is the most dangerous type because if you download this file, usually with a legit name like “purchase order”, “new order”, etc you will be installing a trojan software on your computer. The objective of the hacker is that you download and try to open the file, this will install the malware using a common name difficult to identify. The script will then run on the background without you even noticing. Meanwhile, it will collect information every time you type something for example usernames, passwords, etc. Then it will send this information to the hacker that sent the file.
Type 2: The email message with a “Call to Action”
This kind of email is the most common, but most people already know that it may be a scam. The main problem is that hackers are getting more sophisticated. Inside the message, you will find a “call to action” that will open a new page that may seem legit, for example, your email provider, Amazon, Netflix, or a social media account. They will ask you to “verify your identity” and ask you to input a username and password. After you input your login details, the website will show a generic error message like “Network busy, please try again later”. Then, the hacker will receive your information and because many people use the same login details over several platforms, the hacker will be able to login to more important sites, like your bank account, Paypal account, etc.
Tips to Avoid Being Tricked
There is no single recipe that will be 100% effective. However, you can use one or more of the following tips to get a better idea.
a) Fake or fraudulent emails will usually include generic information. Real or legit emails will usually include information that you can verify, for example, a valid Invoice Number, your Name, etc.
b) Fake or fraudulent emails will usually attach unknown files. Do not download any file that is not in a popular format like PDF, JPG or PNG. Any other file format will increase the change of getting a trojan or malware script.
c) Avoid any “call to action” from an unknown source. If in doubt you can reply to the email and ask for references and how the person got your contact email. But never download a file or open links from this kind of sender.
d) Beware of files from known persons that are not your frequent contacts. Confirm with the person by a phone call if indeed they sent you a file as their email accounts may have been compromised.
e) Double-check the source of the email. For example, our company will only send you emails from our main domains: internetsolutions.hk and ishkdomains.com. Any other sender should not be trusted. If in doubt please contact our support team ASAP (support at internetsolutions.hk) to verify the authenticity of the message.
Tips to Improve Online Security
a) Never repeat a password for different websites. In case one website gets compromised, the hacker will not be able to login to other sites.
b) If possible, use different usernames for different websites. Our Enterprise Email service has a very useful option where all emails sent to a nonexistent address will be forwarded to your main email address. Example: you register a new account for a social media platform. You can use “firstname.lastname@example.org” and all messages will be forwarded to your real email account.
c) Always use strong and random passwords. Password Generator.
d) Enable the “View File Extension” option on your computer and avoid downloading any dangerous file with formats like .exe, .zip, .tar, etc that may include malware.
Windows tutorial: https://fileinfo.com/help/windows_10_show_file_extensions
Mac OS: https://www.addictivetips.com/mac-os/show-file-extensions-on-macos/