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November is a great time of year, if you’re careful!

Luis M. Alvarez – Nov. 18, 2014

November is by far my most favorite month of the year, primarily because it’s the month that hosts my favorite holiday, Thanksgiving, but also because the month signals change: the beginning of the end of the year, the start of cooler months when the fireplace gets its first workout of the season and, from a business perspective, the time of year when many of our clients find that they want to get one last project in before the end of the calendar year, so our team gets to have some fun!

The month of November is also, unfortunately, the start of the busy season for cybercriminals and hackers because they know that the amount of traffic on the Internet starts to go up dramatically. Holiday messages crisscross the web and folks start their online shopping to get ready for the holidays, so their guard goes down a bit.

Pretty soon, you’ll be getting all sorts of holiday greetings arriving in your email inbox from people you know and some that you don’t know. You’ll be tempted to click on the links in the emails or open the attachments, even if you don’t know the sender, simply because the message seems to spreading holiday cheer.  But beware – some of those links and attachments may contain a virus, a Trojan, or ransomware that could take over your computer and corrupt your data.

According to the most recent statistics from real-time threat intelligence site Senderbase.org, a service provided by Cisco Security Intelligence Operations, over 300 billion emails are sent daily around the world and about 86% of those emails are considered spam. About 3% of all email contains malicious attachments or embedded links. Imagine how much easier navigating your inbox would be if you could eliminate 86% of the stuff you receive, stuff that you’d probably delete anyway!

Surprisingly, the majority of email users do not use effective spam blocking to protect themselves as they should, so they are left dealing not only with spam in general, but infected emails that sneak into their inbox.  More importantly, most people who use a spam blocker have it installed on their PC or email server, which means all the spam and malware-infected email has to actually get to the system before it’s removed. Remember, almost 90% of the email that is sent to you should be deleted anyway, so why do it after it arrives?

A much better method of blocking that unwanted email traffic is to block it before it makes it to your PC or network, using a cloud-based filter that intercepts those emails ahead of time.  We offer a service called iSafeTM Prime that does just that.  It is a cloud-based platform that scans all email for our clients and then only passes along those emails deemed safe and not spam.  The email users have the option to get a daily digest of what has been blocked, in case a real email was inadvertently tagged as spam, with the option to release the message and even create their own individual blocked and allowed lists. It is a powerful service that not only protects our clients, but also eliminates unnecessary email traffic from clogging their Internet connection.

If you want to learn more about iSafeTM Prime, feel free to contact your Client Care Specialist or me.  We’d be happy to help and keep your holidays cheerful and bright!

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