TDC Compliance - Security Tips - "Safe" Email Attachments

April 23, 2018
TDC Compliance - Security Tips - "Safe" Email Attachments

TDC Security Tips - "Safe" Email Attachments

You should already be aware that you should not open email attachments with an extension such as ".exe", but did you know that even PDFs or Word Documents can be rendered unsafe to open? Opening these attachments from senders with malicious intent can cause your computer (and any networks to which you are connected) to be compromised or even riddled with ransomware.

What are the unsafe file types to look out for?  ALL FILES can be compromised – Be Suspicious with all attachments!

The truth is that most file types are at risk of being “booby-trapped” to attack your computer or device. The general rule is to NEVER open any email attachment if you do not know who it came from or why you received it. Especially if they contain links or ask to run a macro.

How can I tell if an attachment is safe to open?

  • Ask yourself: Was I expecting to receive this attachment, and did it come from who I would expect it to come from? Check email addresses for any “red flags” that may indicate the email address has been spoofed or faked.
  • Never open an email attachment if you don’t recognize the sender that it came from.
  • If you recognize the person or email address sending you the file, but it was still unexpected, contact them first through a different form of communication (such as by phone) to ask them if they intended to send you the file.

Other Security Tips: Human Error is a top reason for cyber-hacks.

  • Post-Its are not for Passwords!
  • Google Yourself – you may be shocked at the results. By analyzing you can take steps to remove those things you do not want strangers to  see.
  • LastPass/Password Manager

The below tips may be useful for your own personal device, or in conversation with clients.

  • Disable Adobe Flash on your computer - or at least set the Adobe Flash plug-in to "click-to-play" mode - which can block the automatic infections.
  • Keep up-to-date with all the security patches and install them as soon as they come out.
  • Use a secure, up-to-date web browser, like Google Chrome
  • Download and install a reputable ad blocker plug-in for your browser. These prevent the ads from being displayed in your browser to start with. These ad blockers are getting very popular with hundreds of millions of people using them.

Stop, Look, Think - Don't be fooled

Chris Tracey, Chief Compliance Officer - TDC Investment Advisory