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To click or not to click, that is the question

Have you ever been guilty of clicking on a seemingly innocuous link, only to find your computer systems grinding to an infuriating halt?

We have noticed a big increase in our clients falling victim to ransomware attacks. It is often the same story: an email carrying an inviting link that some hapless employee carelessly clicks on, which is designed to:

– Install malicious software on your computer such as malware, viruses and   something called ‘keyloggers’, which basically record everything you type.

– Install programmes which allow outsiders access to your computer and       everything on it, personal files, photographs, webcam, microphone etc.

– Direct you to fake websites, aimed at getting you to enter personal            information.

– Hijack your account, to post adverts, other links, and infect more people.

For a hotel, reliant on their computer systems for managing bookings, room ratessales channels, guest communications and more, this can be crippling.

It used to be the case that such attacks were easy to spot, arriving in the form of obvious spam emails from bizarre sources with laughable attempts to lure you into clicking on the link.

However, internet tricksters are getting wiser. For hotels this means their emails are often better disguised as customer queries or sales emails.

So make all your staff aware of the risks that any email from an unknown source, even one that appears to be from a potential guest, should be treated with caution. Such emails may not be all that they seem.

To minimize your risk of falling victim to any of these tricks, here are some basic rules:

1. If you are sent any links, think before you click and check the source, if you don’t know where it has come from alarm bells should sound.

2. If the link is to a website you think you know, manually type in the website address, that way you know you’re visiting the right place.

3. Check the web address on any links you are sent to ensure it looks legitimate, for example is it spelt correctly?

4. Don’t be drawn in by scare or clickbait tactics – messages like “OMG you HAVE to see this!” are designed specifically to make you click before thinking.

5. If the email carries an offer that seems too good to be true, like free tickets or an amazing giveaway, it probably is!

But if you or one of your team do click on something you shouldn’t have, don’t panic – get in touch with us as our expert team are always on hand to help and advise.