In today’s digital age, where cyber threats are becoming increasingly sophisticated, it’s vital to exercise caution when dealing with email attachments. Remember, opening an attachment without proper verification can have serious consequences. Let me share a personal experience to highlight the importance of double-checking attachments before opening them.

Recently, I received an email from the university where I enrolled for my master’s degree in health informatics. The email contained what appeared to be information about my student login details. However, there was a catch—the attachment file had an unusual file extension: XYZ.html

In my last 10 years, I have learned a lot about cyber attacks and risks mitigation as I have a masters degree in CyberSecurity and I also studied with University of Oxford in the subject of #AI in CyberSecurity and another with Harvard University about #Risk #mitigation.

📌 Here are some valuable tips to help you navigate such situations from my experience and :

1️⃣ Verify the Sender: Begin by scrutinizing the sender’s email address. Cybercriminals often disguise their identities by using email addresses that closely resemble legitimate ones. Look for any subtle deviations or misspellings in the sender’s address.

2️⃣ Examine the Grammar: Pay attention to the quality of grammar and language used in the email. Poorly constructed sentences, grammatical errors, or unusual phrases could be red flags indicating a potential scam.

3️⃣ Call and Confirm: If you have any doubts about the authenticity of an email or its attachment, it’s prudent to contact the sender directly. In my case, I promptly called the university to verify if they had sent the email. Confirm the sender’s identity and request them to validate the contents of the email and the attachment.

4️⃣ Exercise Caution with Unusual File Extensions: Be wary of file extensions that seem out of place or uncommon for the type of file being sent. Malicious actors often use such tactics to deceive recipients into opening potentially harmful files. When in doubt, err on the side of caution and refrain from opening the attachment until you can verify its legitimacy.

5️⃣ Leverage Security Software: Equip your devices with up-to-date antivirus and antimalware software. These tools act as an additional layer of defense against potential threats, automatically scanning attachments for malicious content and safeguarding your digital environment.

By implementing these simple precautions, we can protect ourselves and our organizations from falling victim to cyber attacks. Remember, when it comes to email attachments, “Trust, but verify!”