There are few things as infuriating as finding that cyber criminals have slithered their way into your business. This past week, businesses in the UK and in the United States fell victim to an email virus known as 'ransomwear'. Unsuspecting staffers opened official looking emails and that's when the fun (NOT) began. Without proper backups (and sometimes even WITH proper backups), valuable documents became unavailable; stalling business as usual. The virus is called 'ransomwear' because company's were given the option to pay to get their documents back. Companies spent hours of time and lots of resources trying to regain their data as government agencies worked to stop the data thieves.
Every 'normal' day in business requires all of our 8 hours (and then some!) so, we need to be sure that we are doing everything we can to steer clear of these expensive time wasters. Below, please find some great tips to share with your team so you can insulate your business from the damaging effects of email viruses.
- Do not download unknown .PDF files or pictures from online.
- Be suspicious of email that creates a false sense of urgency, or that make an offer that sounds too good to be true.
- Do not open any links in any email if you suspect that the email is vague or unfamiliar (often such emails trick you to download a virus, worm or trojan).
- Do not have an 'email preview' option as a default viewing option in your email inbox. This feature opens the email before you have a chance to preview it and often infects your computer before you know it.
- Do not forward any joke or comedy to anyone via email. It is better to share the Internet link.
- Do not open suspicious emails or attachments.
- Set strict company policies surrounding the opening of emails & attachments AND be sure to clarify your company's policies often.
SIGNS OF A SUSPICIOUS EMAIL/ATTACHMENT
- Any emails from anonymous senders
- Any emails from strangers addressing you in a familiar manner
- Any emails from non standard addresses
Be especially wary of any messages that match the types listed above and contain attachments with the .EXE, .SCR or ,VBS file extension names. Remember that viruses can also lurk in more familiar files such as Microsoft Word & Excel attachments. These can contain macro viruses which can wreak havoc in your business.
Beware of hoax virus alerts. Think twice before forwarding virus-warning messages, especially if they have come from an informal source.
Preventing email viruses takes diligence and it takes a group effort. Even when you do everything right, it is possible for sneaky scammers to find a way into your network. It never hurts to have a reputable and responsive IT company to help you take care of the things that can minimze risk and protect your data.
- Proper Backups
- System Monitoring/Checks
- Immediate Access (just in case all your efforts fail)
Stay safe out there! With strong policies and some luck- you CAN prevent Email Viruses.
(If you need a referral we have a STELLAR IT company- give us a call @ 1-888-249-9919)