Please keep a lookout for ‘fake’ emails from those ‘posing’ as well-known banks, suppliers, Anti-virus providers and other entities. Attempts to trick you into opening their email(s), clicking links in their emails, opening attachments in their emails, etc, is becoming RIFE! If they trick you, they can then hack your computer, email, etc…. so they can then compromise your data, steal logins they may find, install ransomware viruses and MANY other very, very terrible things.

More information is below. It’s a bit of a long read, but is well worth it, especially since the security of your computers, mobile phones and your business is of paramount importance.

Fake emails designed to hack your computer(s), network, etc. Some preventative tips:

Fake emails designed to trick you into clicking a link within them and/or opening an attachment PDF, .jpg, MS Word doc, etc are on the rise.
If you, or one of your team, family member or staff member click a link or open an attachment within a fake email intended to do you harm, your entire computer, and other computers on your network and server will become compromised. As in, a hacker has now created a way to potentially remote into your computer and/or upload your data. I’ve even heard recently that by simply opening certain emails, an attack/ hack can occur. Info about this is here.

Please stay vigilant. Here are a few things you can do:

  • If you get an email from your bank (or any bank), a supplier or another entity that looks official, check the ‘senders’ email address. If it looks fake, it is. Don’t open the email, nor click any links in it, nor open any attachments. Instead, delete it. If you use Outlook, hold down the ‘Shift key’ and then also the ‘Delete key’ on your keyboard. This will permanently delete the email. Please note: from what we have been told, the major banks don’t send you emails out of the blue. Confirm this though with your bank.
  • If you do receive an email from your bank, report it to them. They’ll probably confirm it is fake.
  • Preview your emails before fully opening them. Good email programs allow you to do this. Outlook for example has a ‘Preview Pane/ Window’ you can turn on.
  • If you get an email from a known supplier or some other ‘supplier’ you don’t work with, again check the email address. It is becoming increasingly easy for hackers to ‘look’ like a supplier, then send you an email with a fake invoice attached. Viruses and other ‘packages’ of nasty code can be embedded in attachments like PDFs, .jpgs, MS Word docs, etc. If you open a file that has a code package like this in it, it’s another way you can get hacked.
  • Train your team, your kids, your family members, your employees, etc on how to look out for these types of fake emails. Many hacks occur because an employee or member of a household open a hacker’s email. This can then hack not only the computer the email was received on, but the entire network (as in, all computers attached to your home or business network).
  • Please also note: If a hacker has been able to hack and hijack a third-party entity’s email (eg. the email of a supplier business you work with), they may be able to send emails that look really legitimate but are not FROM other businesses (even small businesses). Check each email you receive carefully before fully opening it or interacting with it. If it looks suspicious, contact the business or entity that supposedly sent it and find out if they actually did (or didn’t).

Side note: Does your Antivirus software warn you when you go to a website that has a virus on it? Good ones do, but many don’t. Websites that are not securely maintained by their owners (or suppliers) are becoming more and more commonplace (which is not good). These websites can get hacked. One of the many things a hacker can do is install a virus on a non-secure website. You as an unsuspecting website visitor, then visit a website with a virus (unbeknown to you) in it, and you can then end up with a virus on your computer.
One such virus is Ransomware. If you’re not familiar with what Ransomware is, contact us. Don’t think, “It’ll never happen to me”. Over the past x number of years, there are MANY businesses (even small businesses) and individuals (even based in Australia) that have been attached by ransomware viruses and when it happens, it is not pleasant.

Please note: We use Malwarebytes on our computers. We have been using it for years. It is good and stops us from visiting websites that have been hacked. I recommend using it on all your computers.

Jay Daniells

About the Author: Jay Daniells

Jay Daniells has been doing advanced Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) work for clients since 2010. He is an SEO specialist. He first started doing SEO work in 2005. He has also been creating websites full-time since 2003. Amongst things Jay is also a graphic designer, digital marketing consultant and creative person. His focus is helping businesses, community groups, clubs, charities, organisations and other entities achieve their goals. He is the owner of Green Valley Digital.