The United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (https://www.us-cert.gov) reports that Internet criminals often take advantage of high-profile news stories, such as the recent death of Osama bin Laden, by launching a mass phishing attack, termed “spear phishing.” Embedded links (allegedly to access video coverage, photos or other multimedia) and attachments are used to lure you into providing confidential information and/or to infect your computer system, or draw you to a Web site designed to infect your computer or network.
While there have been no reports of these email phishing attacks yet, similar attacks have already begun to appear on popular social media sites such as Facebook. Axxys Technologies recommends the following safe computing practices to protect yourself and your IT resources from email scams:
- Do not click on links contained within an email unless you are certain of the sender’s identity and expecting the information;
- Do not open attachments unless you are certain of the sender’s identity and expecting the information;
- If absolutely unsure of an email, and you are suspicious, email a “screenshot” of the email message (NOT the actual email) to your IT support contact for review;
- Delete and do not reply to any of these emails;
- Update your desktop, laptop, and/or mobile device anti-virus software; and
- Keep current on critical system updates:
Windows Users: https://windowsupdate.microsoft.com
Mac Users: Use Software Update in System Preferences
We encourage you to be vigilant in practicing safe computing. For more information or questions, please contact your Axxys Technologies support personnel.