This weeks Tech Tip brings us back to security and to watch those links and attachments in your email. Even if the email looks like it came from someone or somewhere you know, it may not be what you think. These days most email clients are getting better at trying to give you the signs that you may want to double check to make sure its a real email. Sometimes even then something slips through the cracks getting past the checks and balances. I personally have been receiving emails that my Netflix automatic payment was declined and need to update my billing information, My payment to so-and-so in PayPal has been held and I need to sign into PayPal to answer a few questions, and even still get those emails from a prince in South America that needs to send my deceased relative’s inheritance immediately.

Funny thing is, I don’t even HAVE a Netflix account….

So what if you did have a Netflix account? Would you have clicked the text “Click here” to update your information? If you look at the address quickly you might just believe it, but a closer inspection shows that this email doesn’t even originate from Netflix at all. This screenshot was taken from Outlook and they have done a pretty good job at showing the whole email addresses in the from sections. You can clearly see this came from a completely different domain all together. Make sure you double check this place to make sure it came from who it says. The little down arrows at the bottom will even open it up giving you more information. Same goes for Gmail. Click the down arrow to show more information on the sender to check to see if it originated from where it says. If not then you have a spoofed email and it is fake. They will steal your information if you click the link and try to log in. Or even worse, the link sends you to a website that will download a virus.

How about links..

You also have to worry about links too. In the next example I sent myself a link that claims to be oh photos from a trip. Lets pretend I DO know this person and email and I am really excited to see these photos.

To make sure that it is what the email says it is, lets hover over the link to check where it will actually take me. When you do this your browser will show you down at the bottom where the link goes when you click it. You can try it out by hovering here ( Don’t worry this link is safe, but don’t trust me because I told you, check for yourself.

In this case, it does NOT go to the address that it says in the email, it takes you to another location. This took me ten seconds to demonstrate. This method can be used to get you to a website that will download a virus or malware. You need to be diligent on checking links from emails even if the sender is someone you know or even don’t know. This can happen when someone you know has their email compromised.

Take care when reading emails and clicking links. And unless you know you are about to receive an email with attachments be very cautious when reading and opening them.