Our clients are reporting an increase in the amount of e-mails that arrive with attachments and/or links stating they contain documents that you have requested, or demanding payment for the attached invoice before it is reported to the credit bureau. Never, never, never follow links, download files or enter passwords if you are not 100% certain that it is legitimate. Your bank and other financial institutions will not send-mails beginning “Dear Customer” – do not open these attachments.

If you don’t recognize the sender, do not click on a link or open an attachment, no matter how tempting! We have heard of people opening videos of pets, people dancing and doing other silly things, and suddenly having their computer contents held for ransom, or their information fraudulently used. When you receive one of these bogus attempts to solicit information, please report it to your e-mail provider.

Most of us today have some sort of virus protection and backup systems that we put a lot of trust in – and rightly so. However, if YOU open something that has been sent to you, you have “invited” that sender into your system and your antivirus program may not protect you from the incident. Computers, software and the internet are fabulous tools, but they are not infallible. Always use caution, and if you are not 100% sure of something, don’t open it.