Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Part 2 of 2: How to Ensure E-mail Security

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3. Thinking that an erased e-mail is gone forever. It is to be noted that even after deleting an e-mail message from Inbox and the Send folder, it often exists in backup folders on remote servers for years, and can be retrieved by skilled professionals. So e-mail can be like a permanent document.

Avoiding fraudulent e-mail
1. Prize/lottery/scam mails. Spammers use a wide variety of clever titles, which often include social engineering to get one to open e-mails which they fill with all sorts of bad things, such as:
(i) Winning of the Irish lotto, the Yahoo lottery, or any other big cash prize
(ii) Nigerian king or prince trying to send $10 million
(iii) Bank account details reconfirmation immediately. This is a common phishing attack
(iv) Unclaimed inheritance
(v) Resending the mail not sent as ‘Returned Mail’
(vi) The news headline e-mail
(vii) Winning an iPod Nano e-mail

2. Not recognising phishing attacks in e-mail content. While never opening a phishing e-mail is the best way to secure your computer, even the most experienced e-mail user will occasionally accidentally open up a phishing e-mail. At this point, the key to limiting your damage is recognising the phishing e-mail for what it is. Phishing is a type of online fraud wherein the sender of the e-mail tries to trick you into giving out personal passwords or banking information. The sender will typically steal the logo from a well-known bank or PayPal and try to format the e-mail to look like it came from the bank.

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Usually, the phishing e-mail asks to click on a link in order to confirm banking information or password, but it may just ask to reply to the e-mail with personal information. Whatever form the phishing attempt takes, the goal is to fool you into entering your information into something which appears to be safe and secure, but in fact it is just a dummy site set up by the scammer. If you provide the phisher with personal information, the information will help the scammer to steal identity and money from your accounts.

3. Signs of phishing. You can identify a phising e-mail from:
(i) A logo that looks distorted or stretched
(ii) E-mail that refers to as ‘Dear Customer’ or ‘Dear User’ rather than including actual name
(iii) E-mail that warns that an account of yours will be shut down unless you reconfirm your billing information immediately
(iv) An e-mail threatening legal action
(v) E-mail which comes from an account similar but different from the one the company usually uses
(vi) An e-mail that claims ‘security compromises’ or ‘security threats’ and requires immediate action

If you suspect that an e-mail is a phishing attempt, the best defence is to never open the e-mail in the first place. But assuming that the e-mail has been already opened, do not reply or click on the link in the e-mail. verify the message, manually type in the URL of the company into your browser instead of clicking on the embedded link.

4. Sending personal and financial information via e-mail. One should avoid writing to a bank via e-mail with personal and financial information and consider any online store suspicious that requests to send private information via e-mail. The rule of avoiding financial information in e-mails to online businesses also holds true for personal e-mails. If, for example, credit card information has to be shared with your family member, it is far more secure to do so over the phone than via an e-mail.

5. Unsubscribing to newsletters never subscribed to. A common technique used by spammers is to send out thousands of fake newsletters from organisations with an ‘unsubscribe’ link on the bottom of the newsletter. E-mail users who then enter their e-mail into the supposed ‘unsubscribe’ list are then sent loads of spam. So if you do not specifically remember subscribing to the newsletter, you are better off just blacklisting the e-mail address, rather than following the link and possibly picking up a Trojan horse or unknowingly signing for yet more spam.

Avoiding malware
1. Trusting your friend’s e-mail. Most Internet users are very careful when it comes to e-mails from senders they do not recognise. But when a friend sends an e-mail, all caution goes out of the window as they just assume it is safe because they know that the sender would not intend to hurt them. The truth is, an e-mail from a friend’s ID is just as likely to contain a virus or malware as a stranger’s.

1 COMMENT

  1. Respected sir/ madam

    I’m working for cyber attack detection…
    I need coding for indicator setting to find who s authorized nd unauthorized…
    After setting indicator i need coding for honey pot to send decoy information for intruders…
    Finally i need to plot by comparing existing honey with my proposed work to show my proposed shows better accuracy
    Please send me coding related to this

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