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For customers using Office 365’s built-in junk mail filter, there is an outlook plugin you can install to report spam that gets past Microsoft’s filters and move it to your junk mail folder.  This article may not apply to you if you are using an external spam filter, like SpireTech’s junk mail filter.

A lot of clients forward us spam, there isn’t much we can do about it – using this tool is the best way to improve the filtering.  If you have questions if an email is legitimate or require other advice, please send it to us – but otherwise, we’re recommending clients use the “Report Message” plugin to send spam to Microsoft if you aren’t using an external spam filtering service.

Please watch the video to learn how to install and use the tool.

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At SpireTech, our managed services clients often contact the helpdesk to determine if an email is fake or not.  We thought it’d be helpful to put together a short instructional video to help you identify some common signs that an email is a phish or fake email.

While this doesn’t cover all the possibilities, we think it hits on the most common ones. Another thing we’re seeing occasionally is a real, targeted email to a client purporting to be be from an owner of the company or a vendor. Always pick up the phone if there’s any question on the validity of an email, and contact our service desk if you need help!  Read more...


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Think about this scenario: A friend tells you that they received a message from your email address that wasn’t really sent from you. They think you’ve been hacked and your account is sending malicious emails to friends. How do you know if your email address account has been compromised, or if this malicious attempt is just spoofing your email address?

Email “spoofing” means that an attacker is impersonating you by pretending to send an email from your account. The recipient of the email will see your email… but if you dig deeper into the email message’s contents, you can often see whether the email was truly sent from your account or only made to appear so.

This type of impersonation is possible because email messages can show a difference between “display” information and the actual information embedded in what’s called the “email header”. Spoofing is an attempt to forge the email header, taking advantage of email protocols’ lack of authentication.  Read more...


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used with permission from Norton by Symantec, by Nadia Kovacs

Protezione da spam e virusSpam is a problem on the Internet, coming at us from just about every angle of the online space. Some spammers develop sophisticated, well-planned strategies, while others can be sloppy and still drive results. Either way, spam tactics come in a variety of shades, and it’s up to users to identify signals early on and avoid unsolicited content.

Here’s a look at some spam tactics used in popular Internet spaces. Become familiar with these tactics to help identify them and avoid them whenever possible.

Spam on Social Media

A lot of the time, spam on social media is just bad social media marketing, or content marketing gone array. Being on either end (sending or receiving) of social media spam is not a good place to be. For receiving parties, it can be frustrating and even dangerous, depending on what the intention of the spammer is; and for senders, it’s extremely unprofessional and not a good way of building rapport with an audience.  Read more...


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used with permission from Microsoft at Work

avoidhackersWhether at work, home, or mobile, keeping your computer and other devices secure is important. There are any number of threats to security on the web, but keeping your personal and work data safe is relatively easy. It may take a few minutes to get things set up, but after that, things mostly take care of themselves and you can sit back, relax, and enjoy worry-free computer time.

Passwords

How many different passwords do you have? If the answer is “one” or “a few,” then you run the risk of all your password-protected accounts being compromised as soon as one of them is. A leak from one site means every other site with that same password is at risk. If you use that same password for your email accounts, hackers could take that over, too, which would leave you locked out of your account and unable to change any of your passwords once you realize it’s been compromised.  Read more...


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email-spamAfter some recent discussions with some clients and family, it occurred to me that many people still have questions about how to tell “fake” emails from real ones – so I thought it might be a good time to point out some sure-fire ways to know when to hit that delete button:

  1. Listen to your gut.  If it comes from a company or person you don’t know or do business with, delete it.
  2. One of my favorites is URL link inspection.  If you hold your mouse over a link without clicking it (press-and-hold on an iPad), you will see the URL that appears (sometimes at the bottom of your mail program) of where that clicking that link will go.  You have to look at the beginning part of the domain name.  Ninety-five percent of the time, this will not be someplace you want to go.
  3. If you are looking at the URLs via the inspection technique above, be aware that some “fake” URLs can be spelled similarly to “real” ones, so be on the lookout for misleading ones.
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