Our thoughts and hearts go out to our clients and all those affected by the devastation of Hurricane Harvey. We are here to help in any way possible for those clients with remote offices in affected areas. Please contact your Account Teams if there is anything more we can do for you.
We do want to warn our clients and friends to remain vigilant for malicious cybersecurity activity seeking to capitalize on interest in Hurricane Harvey. Users are advised to exercise caution in handling any email with subject line, attachments, or hyperlinks related to Hurricane Harvey, even if it appears to originate from a trusted source.
Fraudulent emails will often contain links or attachments that direct users to phishing or malware-infected websites. Emails requesting donations from duplicitous charitable organizations commonly appear after major natural disasters.
We encourage you to use caution when encountering these types of email messages and take the following preventative measures to protect yourselves from phishing scams and malware campaigns:
- Do not follow unsolicited web links in email messages.
- Use caution when opening email attachments.
- Keep antivirus and other computer software up-to-date. For our Managed clients - you have this protection.
- Refer to the Avoiding Social Engineering and Phishing Attacks for more information on social engineering attacks.
- Review the Federal Trade Commission information on Charity Scams.
- Verify the legitimacy of any email solicitation by contacting the organization directly through a trusted contact number. You can find trusted contact information for many charities on the BBB National Charity Report Index
What do you do if you think you are a victim?
- If you believe you might have revealed sensitive information about your organization, report it to the appropriate people within the organization, including network administrators or your Managed Services Provider. They can be alert for any suspicious or unusual activity in your IT environment.
- If you believe your financial accounts may be compromised, contact your financial institution immediately and close any accounts that may have been compromised. Watch for any unexplainable charges to your account.
- Immediately change any passwords you might have revealed. If you used the same password for multiple resources, make sure to change it for each account, and do not use that password in the future.
- Watch for other signs of identity theft. (See Preventing and Responding to Identity Theft for more information.)
- Consider reporting the attack to the police, and file a report with the Federal Trade Commission.
Other useful resources:
- Using Caution with Email Attachments for more information on safely handling email attachments.
- Avoiding Social Engineering and Phishing Attacks for more information on social engineering attacks.
- Subscribe above to our monthly technology newsletter and alerts
Written By: Tim Schmitt | Director