This is very important, so please read it carefully. Increasingly we receive emails showing that people we know have been hacked. Leaving aside anti-virus like AVG and programmes such as MALWAREBYTES, you must use common sense and take basic precautions!
The hackers work in two main ways:
1 Email links. They try to get you to click on a bogus web-link in an email apparently from someone you know whom they have already hacked. SO: NEVER EVER click on links in a short email about a ‘private message’ or ‘photographs’ or ‘make serious money’ or just a link on its own. NEVER EVER click on a link which appears to be from your email provider saying it is an update or claiming you will lose your emails if you don’t respond. or from your bank. Such emails are known as ‘phishing’. They wait for some unsuspecting person to take a bait. Also, it goes without saying: NEVER OPEN an attachment you were not expecting.
These links and attachments will all lead to ‘trojan’ websites which leave viruses or search for personal information on your computer. They then hack into your email and repeat the process to all your contacts in the twinkling of an eye.
2 Phone calls out of the blue in which a plausible young man or woman asks you to verify your email address and password (or your bank account, or whatever). NEVER EVER give these people any information at all. If you are ringing your internet provider it is a different matter of course.
If you receive a pleading email saying that a friend has been mugged in Spain or London (these are the most popular) or indeed anywhere else in the world and asking for money, they have been hacked in one of the ways above. Don’t reply to the email, but ring your friend immediately to let them know what has happened. The hackers will have sent the email to everyone on your friend’s address book and then they will have deleted the address book contents for good measure. That is why you should not rely on web-based address books and should always back up addresses on your computer. (If you do not know how to do that, email us)
We hope this helps you protect your email address and personal details. Please circulate this webpage widely, but not as an anonymous link! Tell your friends what it is about and authenticate it with a personal message.
Finally, to anyone who uses their work computer, particularly in the public sector, for Kingdom business, it will be wise especially in these days to let your Christian contacts know your personal email instead. Also, obviously, you should not be doing Kingdom work in the firm’s time.
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