There are dozens of attack vectors that people must look out for when they are surfing the Internet. One of the oldest but still effective vectors of attack that you must look out for is the use of email. People still tend to treat email very casually and are not on their guard when they use it. I will show you how email can be used against you and what you can do to keep from getting infected.
Beware Of Email Attachments
There are many things that you must look out for when you open your email but the number one thing that can get you in trouble is by opening up your attachments.
Email attachments are files that are sent to you when you receive an email.
They may be in the form of a music file, a pdf, a word document, or a funny little video.
All of these types of files can be classified under the term of “attachments”.
These files while overall harmless can also be used to send a virus to your computer.
Some of these files such as a pdf or a flash file have known exploits that can be taken advantage of to infect your computer.
Other files can be disguised to look like one type of file such as a mp3 music file but in actuality be an executable file.
This is known as a Trojan.
An executable file is a file that runs an actual program on your computer.
This program can be the virus or a Trojan itself and you will never know that it is running.
Also an email can be used to send a link to someone to direct them towards going to another web page.
This can also be used as an attack vector against an unwitting victim.
Most links that you will be sent in an email are harmless, but some are not, so it pays to always be prepared.
Once the person clicks the link in the email, they will be sent to a web page which can either load a virus onto their computer or ask them vital personal details in a technique called phishing.
This is a very popular attack vector and one of the most easiest to implement.
You can avoid getting a virus onto your computer several different ways.
Some techniques include common sense, others include outside program that will help keep you safe.
The first step is to make sure that you only open attachments and visit links sent by people that you know.
This is not a hundred percent effective method of avoiding getting infected but it does help slim down the chances.
Strange emails that send attachments and links are always a sure sign that someone is up to no good.
Avoid clicking these types of emails whenever possible.
If you receive a link from a friend, email them back first to verify that they did indeed send a link and their email is not being spoofed.
Once that is verified it should be pretty safe to go to that link.
Some email programs such yahoo and gmail come with virus scanners already attached but it helps if you have your own anti virus already going on your computer.
This is the most effective way to avoid getting attacked.
When someone that you know sends you an attachment in your email, just download it onto your computer, and scan it with your antivirus program before you click on it to run it.
Always Keep Your Antivirus Program Updated
An updated virus scanner is a great way to beat the scammers at their own game.
An updated antivirus program is the number one protection.
Hopefully we made you more familiar on how people will try to attack your computer through email and have given you the means on how to defeat such an attack.
Remember that an updated AV program is your best bet.
An updated antivirus and the use of your own common sense is the best way to go.