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  • Life

Be cynical, be safe!

Friday, 7th October, 2016 5:00pm
Be cynical, be safe!

We’ve said it before and we’re sure we’ll say it again, but, in this day and age you must be super-cautious when dealing with emails and internet warnings.

We should all be wise by now to the email arriving from the long-lost African relative telling us our $64m bequest is ready to send just as soon as they receive all our personal info. Email scams are getting more and more clever, and so, therefore, must we.

Hijacking of email addresses to use for sending spam has been a part of life for some time but now the scammers are going further. They are hijacking entire email accounts, even internal company ones generally regarded as ‘safe’, in order to enter into prolonged correspondence.

You may have heard of a case recently where several mails went back and forth between two company directors regarding transfer of funds. It was sheer luck that in the midst of this correspondence, the two parties came face to face and so realised all the emails were fake. A company in the states hit by the same scam, was not so lucky and transferred $15m. Needless to say that company no longer exists!

So, always be suspicious. If you get an email with an attachment, be slow to open it, even if it’s from the mammy! If the attachment is a .zip file delete it unless you are absolutely sure of the sender. Most of the worst virus and ransomware attacks originate through a .zip file.

If you receive an email appearing to come from your bank, Paypal, Apple, Amazon etc., NEVER CLICK THE LINK. Nine out of ten of these mails are fake and the link will take you to a dodgy site that will save your login info, giving the scammers access to your real account. If you really believe the mail might be true, simply go to the website concerned and login as normal. Then check there for any messages. And if any mail asks you to transfer money, pick up the phone and check with the sender first. Follow the first rule of internet usage ... be cynical, be safe.

• If you have a question you’d like Sean or Penny to answer, email them at       

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