email security thumbnailOfficials in Florida warn of an email that claims to be sent by a professional hit man hired by a friend to kill the recipient. The email further claims the recipient is being watched, and if the demands aren’t met, the recipient’s family will be harmed.

The email is a scam and anyone who receives it should NOT reply. Responding to the email indicates the scammers have found an active email account, which can lead to further harassment.

This is not the first time this type of email has circulated. In December of 2006, a similar hit man email cropped up across the United States, prompting over a hundred complaints filed with the FBI. Other popular internet scams the FBI has encountered include internet auction fraud, Nigerian letter fraud, and investment fraud. If you encounter what you believe to be an email scam, follow company protocols and contact the local authorities.

The best way to reduce your risk of falling victim to potential email security threats is through understanding the types of cyber threats associated with emails and the steps you can take to protect yourself against them.

Types of Threats to Email Security

Threats to email security come in a variety of forms. Some of the more common are:

  • Attachments—email attachments can deliver malware or other cyber threats.
  • Links—links within email messages can send you to unsecure, malicious websites.
  • Scams—emails that warn of some imminent danger, require your personal information, request you update your password, etc. are likely scams to get your identifying information to either extort you, steal your identity, or both.

How to Protect Yourself from Email Security Threats

The following is a list of ways to help you become more diligent in recognizing and warding off threats to email security:

  • Delete any spam messages without responding. Even if the message offers an opportunity to remove you from their list, do not fall for it.
  • Don’t automatically trust an email from a known source or one that claims a known source provided your email address to the sender. The email account may have been hacked and is sending spam messages.
  • Don’t fall for urgent email requests that ask you to verify information. Even if they appear to come from a legitimate source, always question it. Call the supposed sender instead.
  • Watch for signs like poor spelling, bad grammar, and improper language usage that can indicate an email request or notification isn’t legitimate.

Cyber criminals are always devising new ways to access personal and confidential information. If you have concerns over your own cybersecurity measures, Preparis can help! We can review your existing security policies and plans, security management processes, network architecture diagrams, information handling, and other materials. We also offer a cloud-based portal that will allow you to train your employees on what they can do to avoid cyber-attacks and how to react if your company should experience one. To learn more, please visit www.preparis.com or email us at info@preparis.com.

Marlia Fontaine-Weisse is the Content Manager for Preparis.