As I am attempting to find a way to introduce this article on cyber and email security, I just received an email from the "admirable" Dr. Novo Depa. The email contained the following line of text: "I would like to ask your permission to receive the transfer of 33,150,000 dollars, as a close relative of one of our clients who die in plan crash and who the account is currently on standby for reclamation in one of Bank. If you want to treat this matter with me contact me and reply me immediately."
Although this scam is a bit obvious as to its malicious intentions, there are several sneaky ones that you should be aware of. Recently it has been brought to NALS’ attention that a member received an email that looked as though it was from her chapter president but, in fact, it was a scammer. The email requested bank account information to transfer funds and ended with an email signature of the chapter president’s name.
In light of that, NALS would like to inform you of some ways to protect yourself and those you email.
Where a scammer steps, we must leap!
The first leap we make is through prevention. Watching the warning signs and using precautions can keep you protected. When it comes to receiving emails, please take note of the following:
If it is out of the ordinary, question it
If a contact typically does not use email as a primary or typical contact, confirm that it is them. Ask them a security question that only THEY would know or ask them to give you some personal information in order to confirm. A sure way is to pick up the phone and call or text them to check the email's validity.
Save trusted contacts into your contact application or email client
When you receive an email from a trusted source, save that email to your contacts. This will help you differentiate from what you should question and what you can likely trust.
Mass emails from one email contact
A surefire sign to determining if a trusted email account is hacked is if you start being included in mass emails with multiple recipients. Inform the person that their email has been hacked and advise them to change their password.
Treat email attachments from unknown sources with extreme caution
NEVER download an attachment from an unknown source; this opens your computer and hardware to hackers. I have personally received an email from "FedEx" saying I missed a package delivery. The email included an attached compressed folder. I typically will mark these emails as "Junk" and delete them from my system. The reason I know these are scams is because FedEx missed deliveries are in the form of paper notices.
Do not trust financial transactions requested from unknown sources
Any financial transaction requested out of the blue should ALWAYS be questioned.
Oh no! I’ve been hacked or I received a scam email.
If you received a scam email, mark it as "Junk" and/or delete it. Do not click links or open attachments.
If your email has been compromised, change your passwords to something more secure. Use secure 8-10 character password that includes a mix of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and other symbols, if the system allows. Then notify your contacts that if they receive any more spam emails from your address to let you know.
Email and web are wonderful tools that assist us in our jobs and life. It is not something to be afraid of, but we should be cautious on where we click and what information we give out.
Cyber Security Resources: