skip to content
Primary navigation

Aaron's Security Tips

Get security tips from Aaron Call, MNIT's Chief Information Security Officer (CISO).

Email Attacks

How to Detect and Defeat

2/15/2018 9:55:45 AM

An illustration of many email icons.

Aaron Call - Chief Information Security Officer

Scammers and cyber-attackers have found a cost-effective, time-saving way get their hands on your personal information – through email. One of the most common things to be on the lookout for is phishing. Phishing can occur over email when a scammer uses fraudulent messages to get you to share personal information (Social Security numbers, banking information, account passwords, etc.). Email can be dangerous for another reason – attachments or random links in emails can contain malware, and opening or clicking on them lets the attackers past any defenses you might have.

Luckily for you (and not so luckily for fraudsters), there are a few simple things you can do to keep your information safe and your computer system secure. Stop these attacks before they get to your machine!

  • Think password security. Use strong and unique passwords for every site, and change the important ones regularly. Help maintain your sanity by keeping your complex (random!) passwords in a safe place like a password manager, and don’t share your password with anyone. This will help keep cybercriminals from accessing your account and using it for their evil purposes.
  • Remain skeptical. Don’t open attachments from anyone you don’t know, and watch out for suspicious links inside an email regardless who sent it. If you receive an email that appears to come from someone you know (or from an institution you’re familiar with, like a bank) and asks for money or information – stay skeptical. Call that person or institution at a trusted phone number (not one provided in the email!) before opening attachments or sending even benign information.
  • Keep private information private! It’s easy for someone to read an email – even if they weren’t the original recipient of the message. Emails can be forwarded and passed along to others without you knowing about it, and if a scammer was able to access your account, they could search through your “sent” box for something to use against you or your friends and coworkers.

/mnit/assets/security-tip-mail_tcm38-335663.pdfDownload This Security Tip

Portrait of Aaron Call

This security tip is courtesy of Aaron Call,
Minnesota’s Chief Information Security Officer (CISO)

For more tips, follow Aaron on Twitter at @InfoSecCall

back to top