What You Have to Know About Email Viruses

In the eyes of cybercriminals, a compromised mailbox is like a goldmine of personal data and can also be used to access all your other accounts. Since many online accounts are tied to your mailbox, including online banking and online shopping accounts, there is no time to lose when your mailbox has been hacked and has to be fixed immediately. You must act quickly and carefully to minimise any adverse impact on your identity, finances and those around you.

What You Have to Know About Email Viruses

How are email accounts hacked?

The main reasons why email accounts are hacked include:

How can I tell if someone has hacked my email account?

If you want to know whether your email account has been hacked, pay attention to any of the following anomalies:

What should I do if my email is hacked?

Preventing Email Viruses: Best Practices for Protection

Email viruses can cause significant damage to your computer systems, compromise your data, and disrupt your online activities. To protect yourself and your organization from email viruses, follow these best practices:

  1. Keep Your Email Client and Antivirus Software Updated: Ensure that your email client (such as Outlook, Thunderbird) and antivirus software are regularly updated with the latest security patches and virus definitions. This helps defend against new virus threats and vulnerabilities.

  2. Be Cautious with Email Attachments: Exercise caution when opening email attachments, especially if they come from unknown or suspicious sources. Only open attachments from trusted senders, and scan them with an updated antivirus software before opening. Avoid opening files with extensions commonly associated with malware, such as .exe, .vbs, .chm, or .bat.

  3. Beware of Phishing Attempts: Email viruses often spread through phishing emails, which trick users into clicking on malicious links or downloading infected attachments. Be cautious of emails with urgent requests, misspellings, grammatical errors, or suspicious links. Verify the authenticity of the email sender before clicking on any links or providing sensitive information.

  4. Enable Spam Filters: Enable spam filters on your email client or use a reputable email service provider with built-in spam filtering. This helps block or redirect suspicious emails containing viruses or malware before they reach your inbox.

  5. Disable Automatic Email Preview: Disable automatic email preview features that display the contents of an email when it is selected. This prevents potential viruses embedded in emails from executing automatically.

  6. Use Strong Email Passwords: Choose strong and unique passwords for your email accounts. Avoid using easily guessable passwords and consider enabling two-factor authentication (2FA) for an added layer of security.

  7. Educate Yourself and Your Team: Educate yourself and your team on email security best practices. Train employees to be wary of suspicious emails, to avoid clicking on unknown links, and to report any potential security threats immediately.

  8. Regularly Back Up Your Data: Regularly back up important data to a secure offline or cloud-based storage location. In case of a virus attack, having backups ensures that you can restore your data without paying ransom or losing critical information.

  9. Use Temp Mail Service: Use a temporary email address when registering for services that you use temporarily to avoid leakage of your real email address.

Remember, prevention is key when dealing with email viruses. By implementing these practices and staying vigilant, you can significantly reduce the risk of falling victim to email-borne viruses and protect your digital assets.