If you receive an email requesting account information from what appears to be a legitimate company (i.e. Netflix, Apple, Wells Fargo, etc.) then proceed with caution.
Are you aware 93% of phishing emails involve ransomware and 90% of all phishing breaches are from human error*, meaning, someone opened, downloaded or clicked on a link embedded within the email.
First and foremost! DO NOT DOWNLOAD ANYTHING AND DO NOT CLICK ON ANY LINKS FROM UNKNOWN SOURCES.
Contact the company with their legitimate phone number. Let the company know you received a suspicious email and ask to forward it to them. Many companies have a dedicated email address to report these activities.
Apple, for example, has an email address to report phishing; email@example.com. You can forward any suspicious Apple account activity to this email and they will review it. Once this is done, delete the email. You can also block the sender email address as well.
Things to look for:
Check sender details in the email header. Support@apple.com is a valid sender address. firstname.lastname@example.org is not a valid sender address.
How can I protect myself?
Select a reputable anti-virus solution (many internet service providers offer a free solution with their service). This solution should include email monitoring. Most anti-virus companies keep their threat indexes up to date, many on an daily basis.
Another way to protect yourself is to keep your computer, tablet and cell phone software up to date. While most updates are to fix bugs, many also install security patches to avoid these potential issues.
This includes keeping the overall operating system current. For example, if you are still running Windows XP you are at risk and an easy target because Microsoft no longer supports this operating system.
Lastly, avoid going to suspicious and non-family friendly web sites. They could be collecting personal data and potentially injecting your computer with a virus, malware and /or ransomware.
We all need IT so let us be IT – Orcannus Technologies, Inc
*Statistical information from: IBM Cybersecurity Intelligence Index