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Manage Your Email for Better Security

When it comes to email security, this is a time of dread for most of us – and a time of great opportunity for cyber thieves who use email to do their dirty work. The stress of getting all your financial information and filing your taxes can cause you to let your guard down just a little. It doesn’t take much to create an opening for a breach.

Your eyes will always be your best guide about how to handle an email. Look closely. Not every email that looks odd is a phishing expedition.

For example, we have a client undergoing a merger, and that prompted the need to get all the payroll information in the right place so that everyone could continue to get paid. The subject line had wording with “payroll temporarily on hold,” and there was an attachment. It looked like a phish, and it may have smelled like a phish. But it was legit. The email had instructions for people to follow for a smooth payroll transition, and the attachment was a form that needed a signature.

At this time of year, we get a lot of similar emails that relate to tax forms, tax returns, tax refunds, and other financial matters. It’s a highly stressful time, and cyber thieves  try to take advantage of our stress in hopes of getting information that leads to your money. So, it’s appropriate to remind everyone:

  • Read the subject line carefully.
  • If something looks “not quite right” or absolutely absurd, delete it.
  • If you think something may be right but aren’t sure, go to the company’s or government agency’s website – From Your Browser, not from the email – and look for more information.
  • Make a phone call, if you need to, from a number you’ve been given or from the website. Do Not Use a phone number from a suspicious email.

Don’t bother setting up filters for spam. Spammers rely on relentless pursuit, and they’ll just keep on sending them. The same is true with phone calls, text messages and messages from apps like WhatsApp. You can try to block them, but they’ll just keep on coming. Delete the phone numbers and messages so that you don’t accidentally respond.

If you think your information may have been compromised, call us immediately at 973-433-6676. We’ll help you assess the damage and take the necessary steps to restore your system’s integrity.