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Oracle Tips by Burleson 

Web Stalkers
Chapter 12 - Virus Attacks

Common Sense

At last, there is a best practice that won’t cost a penny.  Common sense is a key asset in all of life’s endeavors, and navigating the challenges of the Internet is no exception.

If an email appears in the inbox of a computer asking that an attachment be opened; the user should stop, think and consider the following things:

  • Who is the e-mail from?  This is a major consideration.  Never open an e-mail attachment from an unidentified sender.  There really are no exceptions to that rule.  Think about it.  Why would a total stranger send an attachment?  If the email is from a friend and an attachment is about something of mutual interest, it may be legitimate. 

  • Internet email can be very easy to counterfeit.  If anything seems suspicious about the message, confirm with the friend that they did indeed send something.  If they are security conscious as well, it shouldn’t surprise them to receive such a call.

  • What if the message is from the president of the company wanting to share some great news with you in the attached file?  Should it be opened?  Be careful.  If someone is sending malicious email attachments; they will try to motivate the recipients to open them.  This tactic was partly responsible for the success of the ILOVEYOU virus.  If an email attachment is in question, a little research should be conducted to attempt to confirm whether it is legitimate before opening.

These common sense steps combined with regularly updated antivirus software, along with making regular backups and copies will go a long way toward keeping anyone’s data safe from hackers. 

The above text is an excerpt from:

Web Stalkers
Protect yourself from Internet Criminals & Psychopaths
ISBN 0-97-45993-9-5

by Donald K. Burleson, Stephen Andert

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