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Watch out for fake emails: phishing and ransomware

Last modified on 08-06-2022
Criminals are constantly finding new ways and tricks to steal your log-in credentials or files. Help prevent this by staying careful and alert when online.
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Only open links and files from recognised or trusted sources

  • Only open email attachments and hyperlinks if you're certain that the message is from a trustworthy source. Take extra care with .ZIP files. If the name of an unzipped file ends in .pdf.exe, then it is not really a .PDF file and is most likely a virus.
  • Also, don't automatically log in to a system if requested to do so in an email.
  • Be cautious if you are prompted to activate Microsoft Office macros.

Emails can be fake and may contain fake texts and logos resembling that of your bank or other companies. Fake emails can often be recognised by the poor quality of the writing and many spelling errors. Make sure to delete untrustworthy e-mails immediately or, if in doubt, call the sender the e-mail claims to represent to double-check its authenticity.

Verify hyperlinks in e-mails

  • Verify hyperlinks in e-mails by hovering over them with your cursor, without clicking. This will show you if the link leads to a real website.

Watch out for phishing emails and ransomware

Make sure to recognise phishing e-mails:

  • Phishing is a technique that criminals use to try to get you to disclose personal data or login details over the phone or by email.
  • Ransomware is malicious software spread by email that locks your operating system and/or files after you click on an infected attachment. This software can also spread over the network to infect all shared folders to which you have have editing rights, You will subsequently be instructed to pay a 'ransom' to unlock your files or your computer. Don't ever respond to such a message! Immediately break the network connection, turn off the computer.

Accidentally clicking a link or file in a fake email

If you have accidentally clicked a link or a file in a fake email, the following may happen:

  • Your login details could become public or fall into the hands of cyber criminals, providing unauthorised individuals with access to your data or personal details.
  • Your files could be blocked.
  • A virus or other malicious software (malware) could be installed on your computer, enabling cyber criminals to see your computer screen and even control your webcam.

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