Alert Africa | Only open emails and attachments from trusted sources



 Cyber Security Tip #5 – Only open emails and attachments from trusted sources

Always be suspicious when opening emails and their attachments.

Quick Tips

 Quick Tips 

Always be suspicious when opening emails and their attachments.

Business email accounts usually have a linked business-related domain (i.e. and not Gmail or Yahoo accounts. For example, would not be a legitimate e-mail address for ABC Bank but would be.

Banks will never send you emails requesting that you send your password via e-mail or that you click on a link to reset your password

Getting Hands On


 Spot a fake Email 

Always be a little suspicious. “Guilty till proven innocent”

The “From” field does not match the sender (the email is about your Facebook account, yet the “From” field indicates that the e-mail was sent from a Gmail account.)

Obvious spelling and grammar mistakes.

Other signs to look out for, if the email:

is from a different country, (, .il etc.) asks for money, promising a reward in return. is very vague i.e. “Dear Sir/Madam” or “To whom it may concern”

implies urgency (“Your account will be closed if you do not reset your password”.) requests personal information or requires you to reset your password by clicking on a link in the email.


 Spot dangerous attachments (Compressed Links) 

Never open any attachments from unknown senders, especially those that have file names ending with the following: “.exe or .msi, .docm, .xlsm, .pptm, .zip, .rar” If you know the sender, ask about the file contents before opening them

If your Antivirus flags it as dangerous, do not open it.

For added safety, even if receiving an attachment from a known source, do the following:

Go to Click on “Choose File”.

Choose the file you want to scan and click on Ok.

Click on “Scan It!” The results of the scan will be shown, delete the file immediately if any antivirus product indicated the file is a virus (malicious) i.e. the detection ratio is greater than 0.

NOTE: Always click on “Reanalyse” if VirusTotal indicates that the file has already been analysed.

Why Should I Care?

Clicking on a malicious link could result in you giving out personal information and / or your device getting infected with malware which could result in the following:

 Personal Impact  

Identity & personal information theft.

Social media account breach.

Reputational damage, extortion and blackmail due to hacked accounts.

Your bank accounts can be compromised (Hacked).

Access to email accounts, implicating them as set off points.

Criminals can take pictures of you with your webcam / front camera.

Criminals can make audio and / or video recordings of you and your surroundings using your device.

Criminals can use these recordings and pictures for extortion.

Your credit record can be damaged.

Accounts can be opened in your name without your knowledge.

Your email inbox could be flooded with unwanted emails or used to spam your contacts.

Your email inbox could be flooded with unwanted emails. (Spam)



Images of you or your family can be harvested without your permission and used on unsavoury websites.

Untrusted people can track the movements of your family from geotags in certain pictures posted on the web.

Untrusted people (e.g. paedophiles) can gather intelligence on your family from various online sources and attempt to contact your children.


 Device Security 

Criminals can implicate your device in cybercrime.

Your device can become infected with viruses (malware).

Your device can become very slow and sometimes even unresponsive.

Your data usage will go up, resulting in high telephone bills.

Slow Internet connection, due to the malicious applications sending and receiving data.


 Data Security 

There are many incidents that could result in you losing some or all of your valuable data.