CDSBureau Recommended Practices: Protecting Business/Family Assets from Malicious Emails

A CDSBureau Recommended Practice Series.

Email is one of the major ways Cyber crooks use to get into your business or home computers/network. Simple looking emails can carry malicious code, attachments, or links that can spread virus, auto bots, malicious programs.  Although companies or public email providers put very good filters yet Cyber crooks are always one step ahead of them. So precaution is the best protection.

Here are the recommended precautions that can minimize email related cyber threats:

  • Setup your email client to display emails in plain text – This will avoid execution of any harmful scripts.
  • Open emails from a non administrator computer account – Your computer/laptop can have multiple user accounts. They can have administrator or non administrator privileges. Use the account that has non administrator privileges. Because such accounts can not install software on your computer/laptop so this will prevent any harmful code from installing any malicious software on your machine.
  • Do not open emails from unknown senders with generic subjects – Generic subjects may be Greetings, Hello, Howdy etc. Such emails would not address  you with your name. They’ll just say Hi in the body text because they don’t know your name.
  • Do not open attachment – Do not open any attachments like video, PDF, Microsoft Word, Excel from unknown senders. Also do not open any attachments that are from a known sender but you are not expecting them. Hackers can fake the sender name and email. They’d pose as a known person and share malicious document with you. Malicious documents can install malicious software that can hijack your video, record your keystrokes, or open a back end access for hackers. Once hackers open a back end access to your system, they can do whatever they want to do with your system.
  • Do not click on unknown URL links – Hackers provide link text as a known company name but the linked URL points to a phony website that exactly looks like the original website. These phony websites are used to install a malware on your computer or to get your user name and password for bank or business accounts. Always check underlying URL by right clicking the mouse and copying the URL address from the pop-up menu. Ensure that the website address is correct. For example Crooks would change to In a nut shell, unless you are hundred percent sure about the underlying URL, never visit that URL.
  • Do not forward malicious emails – Once you find that an email is malicious, never forward it to anyone and delete it right away. If possible, forward it to the for further action.



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