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What to do if you opened a suspicious file

It is now undeniable: e-mails have become one of the most used vectors for the spread of computer viruses. In particular, we are increasingly referring to attachments, to all those files that at first glance seem harmless but that hide threats that can undermine their privacy or even worse that of the company’s customers. It is no wonder that these attempts to steal data or scam occur via mail messages, as emails still remain one of the most used means of communication within our digital society. A tool for everyone and at the same time a means used by hackers to leverage the emotionality and inexperience of many users to push them to make mistakes. Important to reiterate, it is not the emails that bring problems, or rather the text itself, but in particular all the attached files carriers of malware infections.

Protect yourself from an infected file

Nowadays it is impossible to predict all the possible risks and scenarios related to suspicious emails and opening malicious files, what you can do instead is try to minimize the level of danger. It is always common sense to be the master, to which must be added those that for us are 4 useful tips to recognize a possible cyber attack:

  1. Check the sender of the message: the process of analyzing the address from which the message comes is one of the first aspects to be analyzed. Attention, we do not talk about the name of the contact or the alias often used, but the address itself with a lot of domain, which must necessarily be reliable and consistent with the content;
  2. Beware of suspicious files: most computer viruses use the format files as a means of transmission. zip o .rar. Files that apparently may seem safe, because they are often encrypted, but that instead often hide malicious software capable of seizing sensitive data and, in the worst cases, to block the entire system and then ask for a ransom (ransomware);
  3. Avoid executable files: all that series of documents, photos or videos with extension . exe that are used to automatically install software on your PC. Especially if they come from suspicious sender, the advice is to directly delete the message before clicking on the file, that can lead to irreparable damage;
  4. Microsoft Office files: Windows computers, because they are mostly used by the public, are the most prone to attacks. For this reason, we must also be on guard against Word (.doc, .docx), Excel (.xls, .xlsx) or PowerPoint (.ppt, .pptx) files that, even in this case, may turn out to be malware threats precisely because they are considered safe and normally used by users.

Protect your computer 

Being human beings, error is a characteristic aspect of our nature. Paying attention to a suspicious message is often not enough, especially since locating a suspicious attachment has become a very difficult task. Here then come to the rescue of the tools that help us to identify the potentially dangerous attachments, reducing even more the percentage of risk related to the attachments received. Let’s see together then which technologies or cybersecurity services you can implement on your devices, with more reference to the business area in which in addition to their data, are also at stake those related to customers and suppliers:

  • UTM system that acts as a filter between the Internet and the internal network of your system, capable of filtering spam emails through the integrated antivirus;
  • Sandbox technologies are instead a tool that in our place analyzes the attachment, tests it and then suggests whether or not to open it;
  • the use of Webmail instead of applications because they integrate antivirus and antispam services more advanced mail clients and besides scan the messages before delivering them to the recipient;
  • provide an Antivirus capable of scanning the files and contents on the PC and in case of notifying a possible threat, leaving the user free to decide what to do.