Important Malware Alert for Every e-Mail User

John Biglin, CEO | March 5, 2013

Here is one way to avoid a common malware issue that seems to be affecting almost everyone these days.

Our staff has noticed a sharp increase in phishing e-mails and malware breaches that are affecting clients and users of all types. Indeed, even some seasoned IT leaders at client sites are being unintentionally hit with malware issues, and they typically do not notice it before it is too late. But you can avoid it if you take a few seconds and pay attention to the destination of any hyperlinks.

Many people are receiving very legitimate-looking e-mails that look like they are from companies such as American Express, Verizon Wireless, and many others. Some show accurate logos, fine print, graphics and, in some cases, the correct email sender. More recently, we are seeing many that look like they are from LinkedIn. In all cases the messages have at least one link in them that is not legitimate.

The problem is that the bad links take you to a site that can install spyware, change browser settings, add or change cookies and do other troublesome things that you may not immediately notice.

Fortunately, you can catch the bad link before you click on it. Simply hover over each link in an e-mail before you click on it. (Do not click on it, by the way) You will see the link’s destination location displayed near your mouse pointer as you hover over it. Sometimes the destination is shown in a status bar at the bottom of your screen. Below is an example of a recently received e-mail with this issue:

Obviously, you want to hit your ‘Junk Mail’ button and have the message removed from your inbox.

Sometimes you can easily determine a phishing e-mail by observing typos, incorrect logos, bad company names, etc., but many of the newer versions of these bad e-mail messages look flawless.

As always, hopefully every user of personal computers understands the threat and warning signs of computer viruses and malware. Likewise, they hopefully have adequate protection factors in place, regardless of whether they are using a Windows PC, a MAC or other device. Some very basic examples include

  • Current, regularly updated Antivirus/Anti-Malware and Anti-SPAM software
  • Correct and updated network & local firewall configurations

System patching
Frequent data backup, with a copy taken off-site on a certain regular basis

Regardless of those protections, maintaining a vigilant, holistic framework to deal with ever-increasing security threats is the best way to protect your business from an embarrassing breach or attack.

Interphase Systems can help protect your firm. We know IT™.

Contact us today! info@interphasesystems.com – 610-276-5500 Option 2.

What is Phishing? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phishing

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