As it turns out, a timeless technique for managing your temper is equally excellent advice for safeguarding your online security in today’s fast-paced world. Just as we’re advised to “count to ten” in the heat of an argument, it’s increasingly imperative to “think before you click” on incoming emails, to avoid falling for email phishing scams on the rise.
After all, we’re all human; none of us is immune from occasionally allowing a rash reaction to run roughshod over our rational reasoning. Cybercriminals know this. They use our emotions as a weapon against us, by sending emails with subject lines intentionally devised to elicit excitement or alarm.
If you rush to respond (as you’ll be tempted to do), you’re playing right into a cybercriminal’s hands. If you instead “count to 10” before you click, you give your higher reasoning time to kick in. You’ll then be far more likely to recognize when a careful, closer inspection is warranted.
In a cruel irony, among the most common tactics among phishers these days is to falsely alert you that your security has already been breached, and that you should click on their malicious link to “fix” the issue. Ouch.
To borrow another common adage, if you can avoid clicking on malicious links to begin with, this ounce of prevention will be worth a thousand cures. Recovering after a malware attack breaks through your lines of defense isn’t nearly as easy as warding off the invasion to begin with.
In our next post, we’ll cover some of the warning signs to look for, once you’re on higher alert to begin with.
SAGE Serendipity: It’s a good time to look in on the NASA YouTube channel. On Monday, InSight landed on Mars and there is still live coverage as the mission progresses. Don’t miss the astronauts (pictured) on the International Space Station wishing us all a Happy Thanksgiving!