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If You Have a Twitter Account, Change These Privacy Settings Now

Twitter is changing its privacy policy to give advertisers more information about you. Learn what settings you need to change to keep your data private.

Twitter announced it has updated its privacy policy “to further improve and personalize our services, connecting you with the stories, brands and organic content you care about most.” Of course, the way you get connected to such personalization is by allowing Twitter to share more information with advertisers about you and your browsing habits. The changes will go into effect on June 18. You’ll be opted into these changes, but Twitter has expanded privacy settings that give you greater control and let you stop Twitter from sharing your information.

What’s changing?

There are three big changes to Twitter’s privacy policy:

1. Web data stored longer

Twitter uses cookies to store information about you when you visit a site that has an embedded tweet or Twitter share button. Currently, it stores this information for 10 days but starting on June 18, it will keep this data for 30 days.

2. More data sharing

In addition to storing web data longer, Twitter is changing how it shares this data with its partners (read: advertisers). The wording is a bit vague but the changes certainly aren’t being made to share less of your data: “We’ve updated how we share non-personal, aggregated and device-level data, including through some select partnership agreements that allow the data to be linked to your name, email, or other personal information — but only when you give your consent to those partners.”

3. No more Do Not Track

Twitter is no longer supporting Do Not Track, which you could enable in most browsers to stop advertisers from tracking your browsing history. Twitter states that despite its early support “an industry-standard approach to Do Not Track did not materialize.”

Which privacy settings should I change?

The privacy policy changes don’t take effect until next month but you can opt out now using the Twitter app or website. To do so, head to your account page, open Settings and go to Settings and privacy > Privacy and safety > Personalization and data. At the top of this page is an option to disable all personalization and data settings; on the Twitter website, click the Disable all button, and on the mobile app, tap the toggle switch at the top. There are granular personalization controls below. I found that I needed to disable the Personalization and data setting on both the Web and the app, so be sure to check both.

Elliot, Matt. “If you have a Twitter account, change these privacy settings now” CNET May 2017

Posted in: Tech Tips for Business Owners

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Should You Use Facebook or Google to Log In to Other Sites?

We’re all used to seeing “Log in with Facebook” or “Log in with Google” at sites around the Internet — or less frequently, an offer to log in with Twitter, LinkedIn or Pinterest. It’s a common option at news sites like CNN.com and the UK’s Guardian newspaper, music streaming services such as Spotify and tens of thousands of other online retailers, apps and games.

Logging in with a main account whose credentials you easily remember saves you the trouble of going through yet another laborious account creation and memorizing dozens of passwords. It allows you to easily post about something you’ve just read or bought.

But what exactly are you signing up for?

Requesting your data

Logging in to a website using a service such as Facebook or Google allows the website to make a request for data about you. Facebook and LinkedIn have quite a lot of data available for request: your birthday, friends list, email address, employment, colleges attended, photos and information that your friends have posted about you (for example, tagged photos). Other services like Twitter don’t possess the same level of personal data about its users and aren’t able to turn over as much information.

The exact data that the website is requesting pops up in a window asking for permission. Saying yes to that request adds one more tiny bridge between the virtual islands of your online self.

This seemingly small agreement can carry larger repercussions. Linking two or more sites allows companies to collect more data, building an increasingly rounded profile about you. Allowing one account to have access to others means that if the least secure account is hacked, the rest could also be compromised.

Facebook and Google are by far the two most frequently used services for logging in to other sites. Facebook snared 62% of all social log-ins across the tens of thousands of sites that support it (as of the end of 2015); Google is used 24% of the time according to Gigya, a customer identity management company.

Social networks want to be a trusted source for verifying your identify. In fact, at the Facebook developers conference this year, the company announced a service called Delegated Account Recovery, which would let you use Facebook to verify your identity if you forget your password on an app or website.

Yet social networks don’t inherently have value as a trusted source of identity. Privacy is not the main concern of a social network; like any for-profit company, its focus is on monetizing its product.

We are the product. Take Facebook; according the eMarketer, Facebook is expected to generate $16.33 billion in net digital ad revenue in the U.S. market this year and Google is expected to generate $5.24 billion in display ads in the U.S.

What happens to your data

The data held by social platforms and service providers like Google covers your habits and preferences. Facebook Like buttons littered throughout the Internet bounce back data about products or articles you’ve liked, while the Facebook Open Graph platform for other sites comes with plug-ins that collect data such as which of your friends already use a particular website or what you do while on the site.

In response to privacy concerns, Facebook does allow you to log in to third-party apps without having to give permission to share personal details like your name, email, birthday and so forth. Make sure you sever the connection for apps you’re not longer using. You can do that by going to Facebook Settings (click on the down arrow next to the question mark in the upper right) and select Apps. On that page you can click on any app and see the information the app has access to and can change those access privileges.

Stokes, Natasha. “Should You Use Faceook or Google to Log In to Other Sites?” Techlicious May 2017

Posted in: Tech Tips for Business Owners

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Excellent Excel Shortcuts That Very Few People Know

It seems like every office job needs at least passable spreadsheet skills. And, in an increasingly competitive job market, passing isn’t enough anymore. People who regularly need the software to get their work done need to become power users. That means going beyond simple tricks on web apps like Google Sheets and on to advanced techniques in the best spreadsheet application out there: Microsoft Excel. There are so many things you can learn with Excel that it would take hours or days to learn and weeks to master. But, to start you off, here are some of the best of the best Excel shortcuts that will impress prospective and actual employers, both in the form of keyboard commands and practical advice for getting the most out of the Microsoft program.

1. Use shortcuts to quickly format values

Ever need to change the format of a number or, more to the point, a set of numbers? By using “Ctrl + Shift + !” you make the numbers in the selected cells display two decimal points. Meanwhile, “Ctrl + Shift + $” adds a dollar sign and “Ctrl + Shift + %” adds a percentage sign. Those tricks have the potential to save you a huge amount of time, if used effectively.

2. Generate random values with RAND

Sometimes when using a spreadsheet you need a random number to use as a sample, often when calculated odds and percentages. And I mean entirely random, which something you picked yourself wouldn’t be. By entering “RAND() a number between 0 and 1 which no one could guess will be generated. But be warned: new values are generated every time the workbook recalculates.

3. Jump from worksheet to worksheet

A simple one a lot of people don’t know. Go from one worksheet to another immediately with either the command “Ctrl + PgDn” or the command “Ctrl + PgUp”.

4. Double click to copy down

Instead of holding and dragging the mouse down to copy a formula or value for your data set, you can just double click the box at the bottom right-hand corner of the cell.

5. Lock cells with F4

There are some numbers that you always need to stay the same, no matter what else changes with your spreadsheet. To make sure those key values aren’t accidentally changed, click on the cells you want to remain constant and hit the F4 key. If you continue hitting F4 you’ll get more options. Those are locking the cell, locking the row number, locking the collar column letter, and removing the lock.

6. Don’t overly obsess over Excel shortcuts

The last of the Excel shortcuts is, ironically enough, to stop using so many shortcuts. Keyboard shortcuts, specifically. They can be great timesavers, for sure, but it’s common for an Excel user to want to execute a specific action but not know the shortcut for it. They’ll then waste a substantial amount of time searching for how to do it on the internet when their time would probably be better served doing it the old-fashioned way, cell by cell. If you search for a random Excel shortcut in the middle of working on a sheet, there’s no way you’re going to remember it the next time the opportunity comes up to make use of it. The better strategy is to dedicate some time to a manual or article like this one that spotlights keyboard shortcuts. By testing out the Excel shortcuts as you read about them, they’re more likely to stick in your brain then when you’re doing a one-off action. A popular problem with life hacks is to spend so much time life hacking that you actual waste it overall. Don’t let that happen to you.

O’Keefe, Matt. “Excellent Excel Shortcuts That Very Few People Know” Lifehack June 2017

Posted in: Tech Tips for Business Owners

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How to quickly scan a document to your Dropbox account with Android

For a while now, iOS devices have had the ability to scan files directly to their associated Dropbox cloud accounts. This means you could point your mobile device to a receipt, a file, a whiteboard, or whatever it is you need to get quickly scanned and uploaded and save it directly to your Dropbox account. The new feature is incredibly useful and makes working on the go even more efficient. Snap a shot of whatever it is you need to quickly upload and then save it, as either a .pdf or .jpg file, to your Dropbox account. This is far more efficient than snapping a photo of something and then manually uploading (or sharing) the photo to your cloud account.

The one caveat to this feature is that it is not optical character recognition (OCR). This snaps a photo of the subject and then saves it as either a .pdf or .jpg file (your choice). From within your Dropbox account, you can share and/or comment on the file (for collaboration purposes). Even without OCR capabilities, the feature adds something the Android Dropbox mobile client has needed for some time.

Let’s see how this new scanning feature is used. The only requirement is that you have the latest release of Dropbox on your Android device (and be signed into your Dropbox account).

Scanning an image

The first thing you must have is an image to scan. The included scanner does a great job of capturing just about anything (with the one exception being computer screens). With your subject in hand (or on desk or wall, as it were), open up the Dropbox app and tap the + button. From the resulting menu (Figure A), tap Scan document.

If this is the first time you’ve attempted to scan a document into Dropbox, you will be asked to allow the app access to the camera and your files. Do this, or the scanning will not work. Once you tap Scan document, the scanner will open. Center the screen on the subject and hold the device still (it’s quite sensitive). You will see a blue square hop about the screen (Figure B), attempting to focus on the area to be scanned.

Once the blue lines are square (this is important as it can affect the perspective, and hence the legibility, of the final image), tap the camera button to snap the image. Once the image is captured, you can adjust, rotate, or arrange the image or add a new page to the scan (Figure C).

I highly recommend (at least) tapping the Adjust button and then, in the resulting window (Figure D), adjusting the area to be saved for the scan, as well as change the color to Whiteboard (as it seems to result in the clearest scans).

Once the scan meets your needs, tap the checkmark. Back in the Scan preview window, tap the right-pointing arrow, give the scan a name, select the file type (Figure E), select the subfolder (optional) to hold the file, and tap the checkmark.

That’s it. The scan will now appear in your Dropbox account. You can share it for collaboration or work with it later.

Mobility made easier

Your mobile office just got a bit more efficient. With the likes of Dropbox, mobility is getting easier and easier to manage with your cloud account. Although this new (to Android) scanning feature doesn’t include OCR, it’s still a very welcome addition.

Wallen, Jack. “How to quickly scan a document to your Dropbox account with Android” TechRepublic May 2017

Posted in: Tech Tips for Business Owners

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Organize Your Microsoft Outlook Email

How can you clear up the clutter in your Outlook email folders? Here are some tips and tricks.

Are your Microsoft Outlook email folders overflowing with hundreds or thousands of unorganized messages? Are you unsure what to do with a new email when it arrives, thereby cluttering up your inbox? That’s a common malady, but one for which there is a remedy, or rather several remedies. By following some helpful tips and tricks, you can make your Outlook inbox much more manageable.

In this article, we’ll review the following skills:

  • You can create Quick Steps that can put new email in the right folders at the click of a button.
  • You can create rules that determine what happens with a new email based on subject line, sender, and other criteria.
  • You can clean up a conversation thread so that extraneous and redundant messages are deleted or moved.
  • You can archive your older messages so they’re forgotten but not gone.

Let’s look at each of the tips and tricks to see how you can better organize your mail in Microsoft Outlook.

A Quick Note: When I say Microsoft Outlook, I’m talking about the full email client that’s part of Microsoft Office, not the online Outlook.com email service. Also, I’m using Outlook 2016 through the article, but the tips will work in Outlook 2013 and Outlook 2010 as well.

 

How To Create Quick Steps

Quick Steps enable you to easily file emails in certain folders and perform other actions by simply clicking on a button. I use Quick Steps to send new emails that I’ve read to specific work folders and personal folders so they don’t clutter up my inbox. Here’s how to create a Quick Step.

At the top of your Outlook screen, make sure the Home toolbar is selected. You should see the Quick Steps group in the middle of the toolbar. Some Quick Steps are already built into Outlook, and you may find those useful. But let’s say we want to create a Quick Step that moves all email for your Netflix subscription into a folder called Netflix. Click on the Create New command in the Quick Steps section. Name it and then select an action, such as moving the message to the Netflix folder. Click on the Add Action button.

You’ll see the new step you just created in the Quick Step section. Now click on an email from Netflix and then click on the new Quick Step. Your email is transported to the Netflix folder. You can create multiple Quick Steps for different messages and tasks to make it easier to file new messages.

How to Create Rules

Rules place your email messages into the right folders but before you actually read them. As such, rules may be useful for organizing messages that you plan to read at a later day and don’t want them crowding your inbox in the meantime.

Let’s use the same Netflix example. Let’s say you don’t need to read the Netflix messages hitting your inbox and want to place them in the correct folder right off the bat. Click on one of the messages from Netflix. Then click on the down arrow under the Rules button on the Home toolbar and click on the command to Create Rule. In the Create Rule window, click on the checkmark for the Sender’s address. The click on the checkmark for the “Move the item to folder” command and select the Netflix folder. Click OK. Now any message you receive from that address will automatically be placed in the Netflix folder. You can create additional rules to file away other types of messages.

How to Clean Up a Conversation Thread

You probably get into long conversation threads sometimes where all the previous emails in the thread are quoted in each new message. That can result in plenty of messages with duplicate and redundant information. You can tell Outlook to clean up such a conversation thread, removing the older and unnecessary messages and leaving you with the latest version quoting the entire thread.

To give this a shot, click on an email that’s part of a conversation thread. In the Delete group on the Home toolbar, click on the button for Clean up and then click on the command to Clean Up Conversation.

A message pops up telling you that “All redundant messages in this conversation will be moved to the ‘Deleted Items’ folder.” Click on the Settings button on the message if you wish to tweak the options for this feature.

At the Clean Up Conversation section in the Outlook Options window, you can change the folder to which the redundant messages are sent. You can tell Outlook not to move unread, categorized, and flagged messages. Click OK to close the Options window. Then click the Clean Up button on the “Clean Up Conversation” message. Outlook will tell you if any messages were moved. You can then open the Deleted Items folder to review your redundant messages.

How to Archive Older Messages

Do you have messages that are many years old? If so, do you ever still read them? If not, but you don’t want to delete them, you can archive them. An archive is a separate PST file, or Outlook Data File (a file that stores your messages and other content). By placing such messages in an archive file, they’re removed from your current Outlook folders but still available in the archive should you ever need to refer to them.

You can tell Outlook to automatically and periodically archive older messages, or you can manually send messages to an archive. To automatically have older messages archived, click on the File menu and then select Options. Click on the Advanced category. Under AutoArchive, click on AutoArchive Settings.

Click on the checkmark to Run AutoArchive if it’s not already checked. Select how often AutoArchive should run by setting the number of days. Click on any of the other options you wish to enable. Then make sure the option to “Move old items to” is set for a specific archive file in the folder where you store your main Outlook PST file. This should automatically be selected for you, but you’ll still want to double check. Click OK to close this window.

Manually archiving older messages creates a folder called Archive in your current mailbox. This way, the messages don’t crowd your other folders but are easily accessible. To manually archive message, select the message you wish to archive. Right-click on them and select Archive from the popup menu.

Outlook asks if you want it to create an archive folder or use an existing folder. Select the option to create an archive folder. Outlook creates a folder called Archive and moves your selected messages to it. In the future, you can select messages, click on the Archive command, and those messages will be moved to the Archive folder.

Whitney, Lance. “Organize Your Microsoft Outlook Email” Windows Secrets May 2017

Posted in: Tech Tips for Business Owners

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‘Major scale’ malware targets your Mac through email scams

Mac users are increasingly being targeted by malware after years of being relatively safe, and that means they’re facing attacks that other users have unfortunately come to expect for a while. Check Point researchers have discovered Dok, the first “major scale” trojan that targets macOS through an email phishing campaign. The bogus messages (usually aimed at European users) are meant to trick you into downloading a ZIP file that, if you launch it, gives the malware control over your system and lets attackers intercept your internet traffic to spy on your activity or impersonate websites. It’ll even delete itself when the intruders are done.

Like many attachment-based phishing attacks, you have to go out of your way to infect your system. You’re not going to get a Dok infection just by opening a message, thankfully. And if you do fall prey to the malware, iMore has instructions that will help you scrub your system clean. However, the rogue code also appears to rely on a faked certificate that bypasses Apple’s Gatekeeper screening, giving it carte blanche if you’re not careful. It might be easy to avoid, but it’s potentially very damaging if it gets through and you don’t look for warning signs.

More than anything, Dok serves as a reminder that you can’t assume you’re safe just because you use a non-standard platform. Malware writers still tend to target Windows simply because it represents the largest potential target, but some of them are willing to aim at Mac users in hopes of cornering an untapped “market” for victims.

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4 Ways to Lock Your Windows 10 PC

Many of us are responsible for not only our own data, but the data of our clients as well.  Whether  or not you are subject to compliance regulations such as those in the medical or financial services industry, it is vital that we take seriously the security of the data that is entrusted to us.

Most importantly, you should never leave your PC unattended. But if you have to leave your Windows 10 PC alone for a period of time and don’t want to shut it down, we have a few alternatives for you.

Give these tips a try!

  1. Windows-L

Hit the Windows key and the L key on your keyboard. Keyboard shortcut for the lock!

  1. Ctrl-Alt-Del

Press Ctrl-Alt-Delete. On the menu that pops up, click Lock. Easy as 1,2,3 –  done!

  1. Start button

Tap or click the Start button in the bottom-left corner. Click your user icon and then select Lock.

 

  1. Auto lock via screen saver

You can set your PC to lock automatically when the screen saver pops up. Go to Control Panel > Appearance & Personalization > Change screen saver and then check the box for On resume, display logon screen. You can also set a time for how long your PC should wait before starting the screen saver. Now, when you exit out of the screensaver, you’ll need to enter your system password to get back in.

 

With Windows 10 Creators Update, Microsoft moved this screen saver setting from the Control Panel to Settings. You can find it by going to Settings > Personalization > Lock screen > Screen saver settings.

 

Posted in: MS Office Tips and Tricks, Security

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Thursday, May 4 – World Password Day

May 4 is coming up and has been designated as World Password Day to remind enterprise workers and consumers everywhere to use strong, updated passwords to protect cybersecurity.

World Password Day is a celebration to promote better password habits. Passwords are critical gatekeepers to our digital identities, allowing us to access online shopping, dating, banking, social media, private work and life communications.

Security firm BullGuard cited recent studies showing that 90% of all passwords are vulnerable to attack in seconds. Also, 10,000 common passwords like “qwerty” or “12345678” allow access to 98% of all accounts, BullGuard said. Amazingly, 21% of online users rely on passwords that are 10 years old, the company said.

So, why not jump on-board – here are some great tips to get you started!

How do I create strong passwords?

The key to a strong password is length. Your passwords should be 12 characters long at the very least, and difficult for someone to guess. Avoid using personal information, especially if someone can find the answer on social media, or by searching your name online.

In addition to length, secure passwords also use a mix of uppercase, lowercase, numbers and symbols.

This may seem daunting but there is a simple solution. Try using a passphrase instead of a password. A pass phrase is a short saying that you modify to become a strong password. For example, “Thund3r Sh0wers at Suns3t” would be a very strong password that’s also easy to remember.

Why use different passwords for each account?

Imagine if one key opened your front door, your car, your bank, and your safe. If someone got hold of your one key — poof — they have access to everything. That’s more or less your situation when you recycle passwords. If it’s someone has access to your one, key password, they have access to everything.

Cyber criminals know people reuse passwords, and after a major password leak, they’ll try using those passwords and email addresses to get into all kinds of sites. Often, it works.

Don’t get caught in this trap. The solution is simple: have different passwords for every online account. That way if one account is compromised you can rest easy knowing your other accounts are still safe.

If you think it would be difficult to remember all those passwords, move on to the next section for an easy solution.

Why get a password manager?

A good password manager safely stores all your passwords, remembers them and can generate strong passwords for you. This makes it incredibly easy to use different, hard-to-remember passwords for every account, so you only have to remember the one master password to get in. All the security – less hassle!

But what if someone gets your master password? Luckily, quality password managers have prepared for this by ensuring they only work on your registered devices. That way, if someone tries to log in from an unregistered device, the password manager will block access until the user completes a second, or third login step, like entering a secret code that is emailed or texted to you. If you get an email saying someone is trying to login from an unknown device, you’ll know you should change your master password as soon as possible.

In addition to emailed and texted codes, some password managers also let you add fingerprint, and face recognition options and devices you trust — this is called multi-factor authentication, and it offers convenient, powerful protection for your password vault.

What is multi-factor authentication and how do I use it?

How does multi-factor work?
If you’ve ever used a fingerprint reader on your phone, you’ve used multi-factor! For example, when you download an app from an app store, it first checks you’re on a trusted device (Factor 1) and then verifies you’re you with your fingerprint (Factor 2).

If you’re on a computer, usually it’s like this: when you enter your username and password, you’ll be asked for a verification code that will be texted to your phone. Pop in that single-use code, and you’re in. Ta-da! Multi-factor authentication!

Why should I use multi-factor?
Last year, 450 million passwords were leaked from major Internet companies. Adding an extra layer to your passwords significantly decreases the risk of someone accessing your account. Think of it like a second lock on your door, or a moat surrounding a castle.


One thing to realize is that two-factor authentication (2FA) is one of the best methods to protect the account you log into. If you are accessing your work systems remotely you should have a 2FA solution in place.

If you don’t, one of our experienced professionals would be a happy to discuss implementing this for you and your organization..

Give us a call at (732) 780-8615 or send us an email at support@trinityww.com to schedule a consultation.

Posted in: Security

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How to Recover Clipboard History in Windows with Microsoft Word

We all come across a situation where we copy text and then without pasting it, copy another text. Yikes! The previously copied text in the clipboard is lost. Sometimes this can be really irritating as finding the text which was copied earlier eats up important time. And it might be possible that you don’t even find that crucial text later. For this problem, we share an easy but an obscure feature of Microsoft Word which can help you to retrieve or recover clipboard history in Windows from now.

Clipboard is a container which stores the data you cut/copy which includes text or images. The important thing to note here is that data storage in the clipboard is temporary. Here is what Wikipedia says about Clipboard.

The clipboard is a software facility used for short-term data storage and/or data transfer between documents or applications, via copy and paste operations.

Clipboard is really handy to transfer data between applications. But it replaces the previous data when a new one is copied or cut. Recently, I found out a life saver feature of Word which keeps the history of the data copied to clipboard on Windows.

Let’s have a look at it.

Recover Previously Copied Data in Clipboard

This feature won’t be able to retrieve data you have already lost from the clipboard if you haven’t opened Word while you were doing copy/cut operations.

But in future, use this feature to make sure you can recover previously clipboard data while doing copy/paste.

Launch Microsoft Word if not opened already. Make sure Home tab is selected. In Home tab, you should see Cut, Copy, paste options just below the Home tab option. Below copy/paste options there will be a Clipboard text with a diagonal downward pointing arrow icon next to it. Click on that icon.

Woohoo! Keep Word opened while performing copy/cut and all the data you copy or cut will appear in the window that pops out. The history limit is 24 which I think is good enough.

Right click on the desired text or picture and select Paste to recover previously copied data from the clipboard. If you wish you can also delete the clipboard history from the same context menu.

We hope that this feature of Word helped you to retrieve or recover clipboard history on Windows. If you think the article contains valuable information then please share it with a colleague today!

Mendiratta, Hemant. “How to Recover Clipboard History in Windows with Microsoft Word” Techuntold, April 29, 2017

Posted in: Tech Tips for Business Owners

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7 Dangerous Subject Lines

Email attacks are the most common methods for initiating ransomware and phishing scams. Attackers want you to open an infected attachment or click a malicious link, and unwittingly download malware to your machine. But you can avoid such attacks by being patient, checking email addresses, and being cautious of sketchy-sounding subject lines.

2 out of 5 people open emails from unknown senders!

7 dangerous subject lines to watch for

Cybercriminals initiate their attacks through hyperlinks or attachments within emails. Most of these attacks use urgency or take advantage of user trust and curiosity to entice victims to click. Here are examples of subject lines to be cautious of.

Remember me? It’s Tim Timmerson from Sunnytown High! Criminals use social engineering tactics to find out the names of the people close to you. They may also hack a friend or relative’s email account and use their contact lists as ammo. Next, they research and impersonate someone you know, or used to know, through chats and emails. Not quite sure about a message you received? Hover your mouse over the sender address (without clicking) to see who the real sender is.

Online Banking Alert: Your Account will be Deactivated. Imagine the sense of urgency this type of subject line might create. In your panicked rush to find out what’s going on with your account, you might not look too closely at the sender and the URL they want you to visit. At the end of March, a Bank of America email scam just like this was successfully making the rounds. Initially, the email looked completely legitimate and explained politely that a routine server upgrade had locked the recipient out of their account. At this point, when clicking the link to update their account details, an unsuspecting victim would be handing their login credentials and banking information over to cybercriminals.

USPS: Failed Package Delivery. Be wary of emails saying you missed a package, especially if they have Microsoft Word documents attached. These attacks use the attachments to execute ransomware payloads through macros. Senior Threat Research Analyst Tyler Moffitt walks us through what it’s like to get hit with a ransomware payload from a USPS phishing email.

United States District Court: Subpoena in a civil case. Another common phishing attack imitates government entities and may try to tell you that you’re being subpoenaed. The details and court date are, of course, in the attachment, which will deliver malware.

CAMPUS SECURITY NOTIFICATION: Phishing attacks have been targeting college students and imitating official university emails. Last month, officials at The University of North Carolina learned of an attack on their students that included a notification email stating there was a security situation. The emails were coming from a non-uncg.edu address and instructed users to “follow protocols outlined in the hyperlink”. Afterward, the attacker would ask victims to reset their password and collect their sensitive information.

Ready for your beach vacay? Vacation scams offer great deals or even free airfare if you book RIGHT NOW. These scams are usually accompanied by overpriced hotel fees, hidden costs, timeshare pitches that usually don’t pan out, and even the theft of your credit card information. Check the legitimacy of offers by hovering over links to see the full domain, copy and pasting links into a notepad to take a closer look, and by researching the organization.

Update your direct deposit to receive your tax refund. The IRS warns of last minute email phishing scams that take advantage of everyone’s desire for hard-earned refunds and no doubt, their banking credentials.

Read between the lines

  1. Enable an email spam filter
  2. Hover over links before you click
  3. Keep your cybersecurity software up to date
  4. Disable macros to avoid ransomware payloads
  5. Ignore unsolicited emails and attachments
  6. Be on the lookout for the top 5 tax season scams
  7. Educate yourself on social engineering attacks
  8. Check the Federal Trade Commission’s scam alerts

Help us create awareness around scams and phishing attacks with dangerous subject lines. Education to adopt safer online habits should be top priority. So, share this blog with your colleagues.

Rush, Mike. “7 Dangerous Subject Line” Webroot, April 2017

Posted in: E-mail, Security

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