Scam emails are getting more ingenious all the time. Currently there is an email circulating that we have seen many of our clients receive, purportedly from Microsoft, concerning their exchange accounts. These like similar emails claim that your account has suspicious activity, has been breached, or is about to be deactivated and asks you to click a link or call a phone number to resolve the issue. The number one way that credentials get leaked from a business is through an end-user interacting with one of these emails, and they can be very convincing and frightening.
Why do these emails exist? Gaining access to your email account is like getting keys to your castle–aka your business. Your email is a central hub for everything you do and access and has the power to reset passwords for your bank accounts and cloud storage, access to all of your clients, and often times contains plain text identity information from birth days to social security numbers in past emails.
Common types of malicious emails
Scam emails claiming to be from Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, and other trusted online brand names
Lottery scams claiming you have won big but only have a short time to claim your prize
Scare emails that claim there is something wrong with your system or account and you need to act now to save everything
How to spot a malicious email?
Check the physical email address of who sent it. MicrosoftSupportEngineer@hotmail.com or GoogleHelp@random.co.com would both be malicious. Always observe the domain (@microsoft.com instead of @hotmail.com or @techsupport123.uk.co) that the email is sent from and ensure it matches up with who they claim to be from.
Messages with urgency intended to alarm you into quick action
Promises of money with little or no effort
Deals that sound too good to be true
Requesting donations related to recent news stories
Bad grammar or misspellings
Unexpected emails from people you know, sometimes indicating they themselves had had their accounts breached
Train your eye to spot the telltale signs of fake emails to protect your business. In addition to knowledge, steps should be taken to minimize how often these emails reach you and your employees. This can be accomplished with a business level firewall, business email provider such as Microsoft Exchange, and proper security settings on your email server. We can assist you with all of these aspects and more, so feel free to give a call or email for a free assessment of your IT systems.
Christina Grady is the founder and owner of Occubit Technology Solutions. She has been fascinated by the role technology plays in everyday life since she was a child taking apart VCR's and remote control cars. Her passion for helping others creates a perfect bond with her IT background.
“What a great service this company offers! Run by friendly, knowledgeable people who can come in, diagnose the problem, and get you up and running in no time! They have been out to work on both mine and my mothers computer. Christina and Mike are awesome at what they do!”
Real Estate Agent
“Occubit handles our office building's servers and computers, and we can always count on them to resolve any issues promptly and professionally. We can simply issue a work order directly from a computer, and they are on it in a flash! Their knowledge and expertise are unsurpassed, and we can always count on them to get us back on track in a hurry.”
Main Street Depot in Keller
“Thank you to Christina and Mike at Occubit Technology Solutions! TGCL is excited to start this new relationship and have y'all help us with all of our current technology needs as well as helping us grow in the future!! Thank you for getting started with us so quickly! I don't think I'll miss the hours spent figuring out all of our computer issues!!”