Malware: Attachments, Images and Links

Common Sense Internet Safety Lesson 5

Attachments, Images and Links . . . Oh My Malware.  Malware has been sent for a LONG time in attachments

Most Spam or AntiVirus software programs don’t even allow .exe files to make it even into your inbox as an attachment anymore. PDF files, Microsoft Word Docs, and others can also have malware. Since people send those types of files regularly, they’re a great medium for malware. Don’t open attachments unless you know the person, the person’s email address matches and the email wording and content is typical for that person. You can set your email to not automatically download the attachments.

Besides attachments, images can now have silent executables embedded within the image. The malware runs when the browser or app shows the image. You don’t even have to click on it. Set your browser on your phones and all devices to not auto load. This can be set in social media apps/sites also.

Links in emails, especially for messages that make it into spam, should not be followed. Obviously, if you just clicked reset password on a website, you know that is safe. Yes, this means I don’t view things a certain relative sends me as forward strings are notorious for this!

Review:

  • Do not auto download attachments from emails.
  • Set your email on your device to not auto show images.
  • Don’t follow links in emails unless you prompted them (ie you just reset your password).

Stay tuned to hear more tips or find more here! Corporate Information Technologies blog

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