Recently at Midwest Computech, we are seeing an increase in spam emails that are meant to trick the recipient into clicking on an attachment or a link in the email. These emails have been directly tied to viruses. Most of the time, these types of emails are not dangerous to your network if you don’t open the attachments or click on the links. Just make sure you delete the email.

One good rule of thumb is to never open an attachment or click on a link if you were not expecting an email from the sender. If an email looks suspicious, it likely is. If someone you know sends you an email that you are not expecting, take the time to ask the person if they meant to send it. This can save hours of downtime while computers and network files are being restored after a damaging virus. A few examples of these types of emails are highlighted below, along with some tips for determining if an email is safe or not.

Email Type 1: One of the more popular spam emails going around has a subject line that says “My resume” and a body that says something similar to this example:

tech1

One key thing that should stick out is the incorrect grammar. A lot of spam is generated from other countries. Please take the time to read through an entire email before clicking on a link or an attachment.

Email Type 2: Another example we are seeing a lot is emails that have the Unsubscribe Here link at the top of the message. Most of the time, it’s normal to click on unsubscribe links. What is different about these emails is the position of the link.

tech2

Spammers put these links at the very top of the email. The malicious sender, wanting you to click the link, tricks you into thinking you can easily get rid of any future emails from them. In reality, it’s a link that goes out and downloads viruses. Legitimate unsubscribe links are located in the footer of emails, near the disclaimer section.

The body of these emails, which offer things such as $100 gift cards, free weight loss supplements and even free trips, also have links trying to get people to click on them to receive their freebies. Let’s be honest: nothing out there is actually free.

Email Type 3: A third example is an email that is asks people to re-confirm their account. Recently, this kind of spam appears to be coming from Intuit, the maker of Quickbooks software. The subject line will say something like “URGENT: Confirm your account” or “Re-confirm your account.” The body of the email will be similar to the following:

tech3

Here are five takeaways to help protect your computer from spam.

  1. If the email looks suspicious, it probably is.
  2. If the email is completely off topic or different from your normal communication with a person, then the email is likely fake. If you are not expecting an email from someone, then ask the sender before you click on any links or open any attachments.
  3. If the grammar is not correct, do not open it.
  4. Make sure your anti-virus and anti-malware software is up to date.
  5. Forward any suspicious emails to your IT department or IT consultant to investigate. Delete the message from your inbox and block the sender.

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