We’ve all done it- no matter how careful we are, somehow we all manage to pick up a virus at some point. One of the most common ways people get computer viruses is through spam email.
Although a large percentage of spam is easy to identify, some varieties use more subtle and difficult to detect methods. This article will help you identify and avoid many types of email-borne viruses.
Most email-borne viruses come in the form of attachments or web links. Before you click, ask yourself: Do I recognize the person or organization sending me the email? Am I expecting this information? If the answer to either or both of these questions is “no,” think twice before clicking links or downloading attachments.
Even if you recognize the sender, they may have had their account compromised. Read the language of the email carefully before opening links and attachments – most illegitimate email from known email addresses will sound very different from the sender’s usual style. Common giveaways include:
Below is the full address from a link in an email from MyNewCompany.com. When I hovered over the link with my mouse, the web address contained the word “mynewcompany,” so it is a safe assumption that this is a legitimate communication.
If you are still uncertain, you can always navigate to the page yourself. For example, if you get a suspicious email that says it is from your bank, just type www.mybank.com into the address bar instead of clicking on the embedded link. If you don’t find the information from the email on the bank’s website – congratulations! You just successfully avoided email spam.
Stay tuned for our next post, where we will discuss other ways to avoid viruses – and how to remove them if they make it through your best defenses.
If you have questions or if you need help with virus removal and/or training employees to recognize and avoid viruses, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org - ask about our spam training courses!