As the digital world becomes more established, unfortunately so do the scams. The introduction of GDPR rules such as requiring an opt out ‘unsubscribe’ link at the bottom of marketing emails is in our eyes a great step in the right direction for our data rights and privacy; yet it has become a prime opportunity for hackers to exploit.
We all know that an endless barrage of unwanted emails become so irritating that our natural reaction is to unsubscribe immediately with little thought in the matter. However – It is becoming increasingly common for malware to be embedded into the unsubscribe link, and leads to even more unwanted emails (known as email harvesting) or more worryingly grants access to your personal information.
The problem is, there are a wealth of legitimate newsletter providers trying to send useful information willing participants and subscribers, so as a potential recipient it is important to look out for unrequested, repetitive or random emails from a company you are not aware of. Take caution when unsubscribing, taking care not to blindly click the unsubscribe button for every newsletter that clogs up your emails, however tempting it may be.
What can you do instead? A safe alternative is to report the email as spam, this will divert future emails from that sender to the spam folder. If you have already unsubscribed to a potentially malicious newsletter or clicked any links within emails you suspect are malicious spam, do not fret! Computer Friendly Consultants can review actions taken and work with you to mitigate any threats you may have exposed yourselves to, just reach out to us and let us know what you’ve clicked.
To get ahead of this threat, we advise implementation of a mail filter, for example, Advanced Threat Protection for 365 at the cost of £1.51 per mailbox per month. This ATP solution will divert any links you click to a “sandbox” test environment in Microsoft’s cloud, ensuring no malicious actions are taken, then will divert you to the link if safe, and all in the blink of an eye.