Bryley Basics: How to Handle Phishing SPAM

With an uptick in cyberattacks and phishing scams, we thought it prudent to provide some tips to avoid becoming a victim:

  1. NEVER open or click on links in email unless it is a known source and you are expecting the message that contains the links (Nice work Bill).
  2. NEVER respond to an email emphasizing the need to “Act NOW!”  This urges you to not think about what you are doing and is certainly the road to perdition.
  3. The bad guys are out there trying to lure you in.  They are up to no good 24/7 and constantly seeking out new and improved ways to dislodge your sensibilities and compel you to CLICK before you think.
  4. Remember that the bad guys are very clever, intelligent, and determined.  What they do represents potential cash flow to them.  They are motivated and have resources available to them.  Tired, rushed, frustrated, angry users are a potential bumper crop for them.
  5. Putting SPAM email on Block Lists is futile.  Today they change constantly and move around geographically.  Just delete them.  Your SPAM protection will eventually catch *most* variants and block them.
  6. You WILL get SPAM.  As the good guys thwart the efforts of the bad guys (SPAMMERS) they figure out ways to get around the walls of protection.  It is a running gun fight.  Thankfully there are good guys out there fighting on the front lines of this war.  They too are clever, intelligent, and determined.  We can help by being cautious and aware of the danger.  The moment we let our guard down, is the moment they gain an advantage.
  7. Being ever vigilant and careful about what is put in front of you as you use your computer is the best defense against becoming a victim.
  8. Emphasize these basic practices to your users.  The best way to avoid most mail delivered scams and many internet-based scams is to pause and examine the links contained in the email or on the web page.  Willy-nilly clicking links at any time will ultimately make you either appreciate your backup strategy or wish you had one.
  9. See #7 above.

A periodic review of Business Security practices with users is recommended.  Keep your business best practices along with computer security best practices in the forefront of your employees’ minds.  Emphasis on how to handle emails that “look” like they could be legitimate will pay big dividends in terms of time and money.

Sending people email about what to do to keep your company secure will not be nearly as effective as taking the time to gather in a room for ½ an hour face-to-face to demonstrate the seriousness of the situation.

Bryley Systems specializes in protecting you from malware. Contact us at 978.562.6077 or by email at We’re here for you.

As they always said in the TV series “Hill Street Blues” at the end of the morning briefing, “Let’s be careful out there…”