[Internet Security – Why you should watch your emails – Tips


online security

Email remains, in more than 75% of cases, the gateway to errors and malicious actions on the Internet. Here are our recommendations to limit the risks.

Do not blindly trust the sender name of an email received in your personal mailbox. Be on the lookout for any clues as to the true origin of your correspondent, especially if that email contains attachments or links. For example, a message that does not “match” the form or content that your legitimate interlocutor would normally send: mistakes, odd turns of phrase, inappropriate requests (“I lost my wallet, I'm stuck abroad” “I have something to ask you, but you mustn't tell anyone.” ; etc.). If in doubt, call your contact and confirm they are the sender, because even if the email address is theirs, they could have had their email hacked… and sent them an infected message without their knowledge.

No personal information via email

Please note that official organizations or companies will never ask you to provide confidential information via email (social security number, bank details, ID, etc.). In this case, contact the sender for confirmation, as such an email may hide an attempt to phish your data – the correspondent impersonating a third party or a website as you a priori trust – answering machine, bank, store , tax service, health insurance… Similarly, chain letters (share a message to enter File book), charms, financial proposals (earning money with cryptocurrencies), calls for solidarity or even virus alerts sometimes hide scam attempts. Also, avoid forwarding such messages or posting an alert on social media, even if you know the sender.

Links to check before you click

You have received an email inviting you to visit a website: hover your mouse over the link indicated – without clicking on it! – and see what it looks like. Does it match the website URL? If not, watch out! In any case, it is better to manually enter a web address in a browser than to click on a link. Also read the message carefully. Notice if there are stressed characters (Cyrillic, Chinese, etc.) or modified (is O not more than 0?) and study the French language level of your interlocutor. In most phishing attempts, especially when they come from abroad and the text has been translated by software, the spelling and phrasing are poor. Accented characters are sometimes poorly transcribed. However, as hackers become more professional, today fraudulent emails may intentionally contain some errors hidden in the text. Scammers believe they are more likely to trap their targets when they have not paid attention to mistakes!

Single-use address for one visit

Disposable email address is a good option when you need to sign up for a website that you probably won't visit again. This is good, there are many online portals that create ephemera. If you want, for example, to request a quote online, go to Trash Mail. This site generates an address whose lifetime ranges from one day to one month. The phantom redirect then takes the requested offer to your real email mailbox, without that address being given to the correspondent. Don't want a redirect? Create a Yopmail email account to communicate with your contact. Their response will be readable directly on the website, which acts as an inbox. Note that in these two cases, you have no control over the storage of the information. For example, in Yopmail, a person only needs to know the generated email address to access the special box. And then anyone can read the saved contents…

A nickname specifically dedicated to markets

You would like to use your email address for your online shopping, entertainment activities or even for your exchanges with management. But then, all your eggs are in one digital basket! To avoid this situation, it is strongly recommended that you create “pseudonyms”, i.e. secondary email addresses. Attachments to the main have a distinct signature. Example: your usual address is mail@operateur.fr. For the local cinema you are subscribed to, your nickname might look like mailcinema@operateur.fr. for your club, at mailasso@operateur.fr; And so on. This will make it easier to sort your files and perfectly target the interlocutor. IT solutions such as SimpleLogin for Proton Mail or Firefox Relay for the Mozilla Foundation offer free tools for creating aliases.

Who is behind the email address?

Many websites, public or paid, are able to find information about the sender of a shipment through their email address. Among them, the free website Hunter (“hunter”, in French) can discover the user of a business email address in seconds. The aim of Hunter.io/fr? They give you a way to quickly answer a simple question: “Is this person actually employed by the company contacting me? »

Tips • Basic rules for the security of your messages

→ Update your email software (Outlook, Thunderbird). If possible, enable automatic updates, any vulnerabilities will be fixed gradually.

In the “Office Account” option at the bottom left of Outlook, you can update your software. Select “Automatic updates” so you don't miss any updates.

→ Disable preview of received messages readjusting his box. Indeed, some emails may contain infected code. this will avoid throwing it away.

→ Prohibition of execution of options, such as ActiveX controls or plug-ins, to prevent the spread of viruses. To do this, change the security settings.

→ Block automatic downloads and enforce a request for permission to download attachments. This reduces the risk of ending up with malware on your hard drive.

In the “Privacy Center” area, through the “General” tab of Outlook, you can refuse the import of images, block downloads, etc.

→ Read emails in plain text preferably. To do this, simply format your email to prevent emails from being displayed in HTML. In fact, this format can be used by hackers to hide malicious code.

In Outlook's General option, you choose to receive your emails in plain text.

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