April Fool's Day presents a terrific opportunity for cybercriminals to try and take advantage of unsuspecting users. People lower their guard on this day as they expect and want to see fake news and announcements. But this is exactly what cybercriminals want you to do.
PriorityOne Group advises everyone to be especially vigilant this April 1st. Phishing emails are of particular concern. Pay attention to the sender email address for possible warning signs. Do you know the sender? Are there attachments that you are asked to open? Look at the subject line and the body of the email for spelling mistakes, typos and obvious grammatical errors.
Other possible warning signs that the email may not be trustworthy: Is it overly formal? Too informal for the context? Is the sentence structure random and nonsensical? Does the email ask you for personal information or to click any hyperlinks?
If you identify any of the above, immediately inform your IT staff so that they can update your spam solution. Then delete the email. If you are not sure about the email, inform your IT staff and then contact the sender to verify that it is legitimate.
Also be especially careful when browsing the Internet. Cybercriminals seize any opportunity to create fake websites intended to steal data and infect computers with malware. Be careful of clicking links, even if they appear to come from a friend on social media services like Facebook and Twitter. Popular features on these networks — such as clever April Fool's Day jokes — can lead curious victims to click on unsafe links.
Follow this advice year-round to better protect yourself. After all, it is better to be safe than to end up looking like a fool.