When we get a phone call from a customer that has clicked on an email containing a link to a virus, how can we stop this happening again? The actual answer is simple, user education. So here is a guide that should be compulsory reading for everyone, it will take a minute to read through and yet save on downtime and increase productivity.
Firstly, the why:
There are criminal enterprises out on the Internet that want to make money. They do this by infecting as many PCs as possible then using them surreptitiously to send spam.
They stay one step ahead of the anti-spam and anti-virus companies meaning that it often doesn't matter if you are up to date, they can still get through. They get through because they rely on fooling users into clicking on links in email and visiting websites that are infected with viruses. This all causes your PC to misbehave and run slowly.
The consequence - it can take 30 minutes to several hours to clean up an infected PC. Sometimes the whole computer has to be reloaded if it is badly infected.
The education bit: Emails - the truth
Courier companies and Royal Mail / Parcel Force will NOT send you email.
HMRC will not email you with a tax rebate.
NO company will email you saying your account is suspended.
If you receive an email that looks like it is one of them - DELETE IT.
Think - if you place an order with Screwfix then expect to get an email confirming that order and probably another one saying it has been dispatched. If you didn't place an order with Screwfix and yet you receive an email from them with a link to click then it is probably bad.
If in doubt you have numerous options:
- Call a professional (like us)
- Go on to the companies website directly rather than clicking on any links in an email.
- Call up the company that the email is pertaining to. e.g. your bank. to find out if the email is genuine.
Finally, if one of your friends gets infected then it is likely that the bad software will email everyone in their address book with a link containing more bad software. So if you receive an email from a friend with just a funny looking link in it, call your friend to be safe.
CAUTION is your friend.