Thousands of phishing emails are being sent out to personal and business email addresses. They contain ransomware and banking trojans.
You may get some of these with subject headings like: “Account report”, “Equipment receipts”, “Tax invoice” and “Your account has been closed”.
The emails include attachments that people are duped into opening for more information.
These attachments contain malicious, read evil, content which downloads ransomware, that encrypts and renames all your files on your computer and demands payment, or a banking Trojan steals banking credentials and other sensitive information in order to obtain access to your financial accounts.
Having virus protection and keeping it up-to-date is paramount; mind you, it will not always prevent you from becoming infected.
- Do NOT click on links or open any attachments you receive in unsolicited emails on your computer or SMS messages on your phone. Remember that fraudsters can ‘spoof’ an email address to make it look like one used by someone you trust. If you are unsure, check the email header to identify the true source of communication. Some fraudsters however are so sloppy, that you may see an unspoofed email address. This still isn’t a real email address, but is usually one that proves it isn’t from where the rest of the email purports to be from!
- Always install software updates as soon as they become available. Whether you are updating the operating system or an application, the update will often include fixes for critical security vulnerabilities. As they say, never put off until tomorrow…
- Create regular backups of your important files to an external hard drive, memory stick or online storage provider. It’s very important that the device you back up to isn’t left connected to your computer as any malware infection could spread to that too.
- Don’t pay extortion demands as this only feeds into criminals’ hands, and there’s no guarantee that access to your files will be restored if you do pay.
- If you think your bank details have been compromised, you should immediately contact your bank.