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Beware of the dangers of using email as a communication tool

As the country shifts from traditional to the digital ways of communication, as envisioned by President William Ruto, there is a need for protection from online scammers.

Speaking during the four-day retreat in Nanyuki’s Fairmount Mount Kenya Safari Club, President Ruto said noted that sending a letter takes longer than sending an email.

The head of state said his Cabinet will soon digitize all its operation.

“The email arrives instant, the letter tells us we have to get a messenger and another motorbike and another messenger on the other side, a receptionist on the other side and all manner of bureaucracy. I think it is time Kenyans got value for resources they have put at our disposal to run their affairs,” President Ruto said.

However, there are risks associated with using email as a way of communication. Here are some of these dangers.

1. Ransomware – As the country make the digital shift, people need to be aware that online scammers might take their personal documents hostage. This might force them to pay a ransom to scammers for their documents to be released.

2. Human error – Just like the old adage, humans are to err, so are emails. If one is not keen, they might end up being tricked into sending sensitive data to the wrong persons. Email users should be very keen to avoid such mistakes.

3. Phishing – Ever received an email you think came from your friend or colleague yet it was from a scammer? Online scammers may impersonate the other person and send you emails threatening you that they have a sensitive document about you. This may force you to pay a ransom. There is always great need to countercheck email sources before hurriedly replaying.

4. Spam emails – Spam email may contain malware that steals personal information. Once cybercriminals get a hold of one’s personal details, then they can use them to demand ransom. Similar to other types of unwanted email, systems will need to be put in place to filter out spam emails. Most modern inboxes are set up to automatically filter out the spam emails into your ‘junk’ folder. However, some may often slip through the net.

5. Email-borne viruses – This is one of the key email threats. Most cybercriminals use such viruses to attack an individual. The reason behind this attack is usually to access valuable information such as passwords and bank details via keyloggers, causing damage and disruption to your computer or installing malicious software to gain access to the system.

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