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  • Writer's pictureSecurely Editor

Swiss Cyber-Security 2022 and Securely Handling of Emails

Cybersecurity concerns us all. Yet, many are put off by the idea of looking more deeply into hacking, phishing, spam and Trojans, etc., because they think that everything to do with cybersecurity is complicated and time-consuming. This is a long-standing myth: just a few simple security measures and rules of good conduct can prevent many cyber-risks.

The most current cyber threat are phishing text messages targeting customers of Revolut. Citing apparent regulatory requirements, the message requests that customers perform an ID verification. To do so, they are supposed to call up a website. Ignore these text messages. Do not enter any passwords on websites that you have reached by clicking on a link.

There is an increase in purported threats made in the name of the police (Swiss fedpol, Europol, Interpol). The emails threaten to initiate criminal proceedings against the recipient because he/she has visited websites with child pornographic content. The emails come in several variations. Ignore any such threatening emails.

Email remains the most popular gateway for malware and fraud attempts. Attackers try to deceive victims into doing something they do not want to do. The scenario chosen for this purpose is intended to affect the potential victim emotionally or trigger their interest to click on a link, open a document, provide credit card details or passwords, or make a payment. Handling emails carefully and securely contributes significantly to the security of your data and your computer. The following measures protect against malware, phishing and various types of fraud:

1) Be careful if you are urged to perform an action. This may involve clicking on a link or opening an attachment. Never enter personal data in a form that you have opened via a link in an email.

2) Fraudsters are constantly devising new scenarios to encourage victims to react rashly. This method is known as social engineering. Social engineering is intended to ensure that the victims carry out the actions controlled by the perpetrators without being aware of it. Do not let yourself be taken off guard, think about the situation calmly and, if in doubt, ask friends, work colleagues or the NCSC how to assess the matter.

3) Be suspicious of emails sent from an address you do not know. In such cases, do not open any attached documents or programs and do not follow any links provided in them.

4) Emails from a known sender can also be dangerous, as some malware spreads by sending itself via email to recipients listed in a victim's address book. Be careful, for example, if previous messages are suddenly used out of context.

5) Malware is often distributed through Office documents. In most cases the macro function is exploited. Never give permission to activate the macro function.

6) Email clients can also have security vulnerabilities. Check regularly whether there are any software updates for your email client and install them.

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