A Guide to Protect Your Email from Viruses
1 in every 100 emails contains malware; this may not sound bad until you realize there are over a billion emails exchanged every day. A scam email could be on its way to you since there are 3 billion spoofed emails sent on a daily basis, just waiting for anybody to open them. If you think you are safe and can instantly tell the difference, think again, as 51% of Americans cannot even tell you what "Phishing" is. Most of those people do not own an email virus scanners that help them differentiate between a scam and a real one.
The days of the Nigerian Prince emails are long gone, and hackers have become a lot more sophisticated, and they cannot be spotted easily; of course, some still stick to the old-fashioned scam, but the rest have been tweaking their techniques.
Emails are normally reserved for formal communication, which means most people share sensitive info and put their guard down. When we say "hackers," we mean anyone with basic computer knowledge, forget how Hollywood depicts them as some geniuses in a basement with next-level security; anyone can join in the game these days.
Hackers are able to gain access to your device in a number of different ways:
This method gains access to your device through email, and it tricks you into believing that the sender of this email is someone you trust. Unfortunately, the emails are so well put together you won't suspect it, which is why it consists of about a third of all breaches making it the most reported cybercrime. This is why it is important to have a good email virus scanners installed on your device.
There are a few different ways to get phished:
- Email Phishing: Hackers put together random emails addresses and send all of them an email; they look legit, encouraging you to press on the URL sent.
- Smishing: This is the same concept as phishing; the only difference is that it targets you through SMS messages.
- Spear Phishing: This is when hackers have a specific target in mind, they don't send random emails to just anyone. They have done their research beforehand.
- Whaling: Hackers who do this method are going in for the money, as they target anyone that can bring in massive profit, like celebrities and large corporations.
This type of malware gives access to a third party to roam on your device, and then the hacker demands a fee to restore all the data. They normally gain access by sending you an email, prompting you to open it and download whatever is on there. Once it has been installed, you'll give hackers access to your computer, and what they normally do is encrypt all the files, and they cannot be decrypted unless you have the mathematical key that is only known by the attacker.
With this attack, once you pay the ransom, hackers will return all the files back to you; since it is normally just the finances they are after.
While this is the most widely known method, there is a reason it still exists; because it works. These emails are the gate to your computer, and once you fall for one of them, they'll quickly be malware installed. Big corporations are still struggling to this day to completely eliminate all types of spam mail.
These are installed in the same way the previous malware, by email. This is a software that logs in all your keystrokes; through that, hackers will gain insight into all your online activity and any passwords you typed in.
This is a way they hack into your computer by directly contacting you. They build trust by having conversations with you by finding common ground, and once they know you are hooked, you will slowly be giving out sensitive info on you. What is worse is that you could unknowingly participate in criminal activities.
Now that you know how hackers gain access to your device, here are a few signs that your device has been infected:
Pop up ads
If you are receiving more pop-up ads than usual and uncontrollable, then there is probably some malware on your device known as adware. They will keep showing up until you click on one of them, and they are timed to lure you in.
When you go to your search engine and notice a few extra extensions that you did not personally install, then there is a hacker lurking around. Extensions don't just add themselves to the top of your bar, which is why you should always stay on the lookout in case anything changes.
If you went through all your files and are sure that you have no heavy load on your hardware that is causing a lag, it probably is some type of malware. When your computer gets infected, it starts to cause serious lagging; even moving your mouse cursor becomes exhausting.
Computers do crash every once in a whole, but if it is crashing on an alarming rate then look for malware.
Slow internet connection
If your internet connection suddenly becomes slower than usual, and you check the internet speed, and it is roughly at the same speed as what it used to be, then the device is infected.
If you open your computer and notice a few missing files that you 100% knew were there beforehand, then this is probably ransomware.
If all the defenses you put on your device are turned, someone is probably trying to access your computer.
Below are ways to keep your device safe:
Do not open phishy emails
Always make sure you know where the email is coming from and avoid clicking on any URLs. If you receive a lot of emails and want to make sure they are legit, then consider email virus scanners; this is a tool that will go back to the source to make sure it is safe.
Do not give away personal info
You've made a few online friends; great! However, remember that you are never too sure who you are talking to, and the other person might not be legit. This is why you should always keep any sensitive or personal information to yourself.
Be wary of pop-up ads
While winning a million dollars might be a dream come true, avoid pressing on it, hackers have become more sophisticated, and they are relying on new methods to make you press on any link. Always go back to the source; if you find a 50% markdown on your favorite Sephora product, go to the official website and get it from there.
Email virus scanners
If you get tons of spam mail a day and need help sorting your email, this might be the tool you need. Having a virus scanner is not enough; phishing, whaling, smishing, and ransomware are all part of the treats you could fall for.
This antivirus software is only recommended if you are a Mac user, and they offer two different macOS malware protection engines; VirusBarrier is their antivirus scanner. NetBarrier is the name of their firewall. These features are there to keep your device safe.
The scanner is easy to use and can get up and going in a few minutes, While it might cause a bit of a lag it is worth it in the long run. Even though it is easy, it still gives you all the protection you need, plus antivirus scans, malware detection and removal, real-time protection, and scheduled scans. In terms of protection, they also scored a near-perfect score on the AV-test labs, a third-party testing lab.
To accommodate all your needs the antivirus software has 3 levels of protection; minimum, standard, and maximum. With the minimum level of security, your Mac will only be safe from macOS malware. The standard level of protection has the email virus scanners, which will go through all your emails and attachments keeping you as secure as possible. The maximum level will give you the best protection coverage. However, it will also slow down your device.
They also provide great customer support via email, phone, live chat, and a FAQ section.
While this is known as antivirus software, it also carries out a couple of different other functions like a VPN and email virus scanners.
There are so many different features tagged along with this software like a malware Scan, real-time protection, anti-phishing protection, and a system tune-up that are all included in their plan; these are all the tools you need to keep your device safe.
Even if you opt for the free version, you still get all the essential features like intelligent threat detection against malware, ransomware, phishing emails, and more. The software will run email virus scanners to keep you safe from any threats you do not recognize.
The best way to reach customer support is via email, live chat, or phone if you have any issues. However, Live chat is blocked in some countries.
McAfee is well-known in the antivirus market; because it gives a lot more features than the basic software and a nearly perfect malware detection.
As for the email virus scanners, McAfee Internet Security provides you with an email filter that stops most spam and phishing attempts, while the two other packages LiveSafe and Total Protection add a file encryption for the extra level of security.
They also have other security measures they give like the Password manager and the AES 256-bit encryption that offer you that extra level of security you need.
Customer support can be reached via phone support, live chat, and community forum. Phone support and live chat are available at anytime 24/7.