Think Before You Click: Cybersecurity and Navigating Email Links Safely

How can we keep to Cybersecurity principles, when handling unsolicited email ?

We have all seen it – an innocuous email telling us that a parcel is on its way, or that a subscription is going to expire unless we take action.

Unless we click on the link provided and login to the appropriate services website, we’re going to have a really bad day.. 🙁

Of course, what makes it all the harder to spot scam emails of this nature is that one in a 100 will be legitimate!

However, there are so many malicious ones around, that the risk is significant enough for us to assume all emails with links are up to no good.

 

The Risks:

These emails are known as phishing attacks. Cybercriminals cast the hook and see who bites.

Of course, a hook is easy to spot, so a cybercriminal will try to disguise it in the same way as a fly fisher!

Often, they will register a domain name very similar to the legitimate site they are trying to impersonate, for example instead of:

   microsoft.com

They would send an email from

   nnicrosoft.com

At a glance it would be very easy to think that you are being written to from a legitimate address.

As you can see it is important to check where emails with links come from.

Make sure you check the URL for misspellings, check if the URL is using HTTPS rather than HTTP. This would ensure that the connection is encrypted and not subject to snooping in between the sender and receiver.

It is also important to give a general sense check of these emails – do they seem out of context or strange…? If anything doesn’t smell right – don’t click!

Safe Practice:

  • Examine the URL’s themselves, not just the text in the email
  • Use a good anti phishing tool such as Mimecast or Windows Defender for 365
  • If you are not sure but want to check the legitimacy of an email – check with the supposed sender and check if they did actually send it.
  • Make sure your antivirus is up to date!

Of course I would be remis if I didn’t mention that a trusted advisor will help you enormously! Jolly IT can pass a second eye over any emails you receive and let you know if they are legitimate or not. We can even test them in safe environments to make sore for you.

Just email us on: help@jollyit.co.uk   !