Tech Tip: Is This Request Really From the Boss?

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A common scam going around requires everyone to be on their toes. Here’s the situation …

An email comes in from the boss asking you to email a copy of employee pay stubs, tax information and files with confidential data such as Social Security numbers in them. In another example, the boss asks for a transfer or ACH payment to a vendor or a different bank account.

The problem: even though it has the boss’s email address and name, and appears to come from the big guy or gal … it is still a scam. To compound problems, a lot of bosses DO legitimately send these types of emails.

If you get a request relating to personal, confidential information or a request for banking transactions from someone in your organization, you must double-check that it really came from that person. In lots of cases, a quick text message is an easy confirmation. And even if it’s a legitimate request, never send confidential information like Social Security numbers — or attachments containing this type of information — without taking precautions to password-protect and encrypt the message first.

If it doesn’t feel right, it’s probably not right.

Alan Edwards, CISM, is chief information officer at Computerware, Inc., in Vienna, Virginia.

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