What’s the easiest way for a bad actor to infect your computer? By putting a malicious macro in a Microsoft Office document and emailing it to you. When you open it, the macro tells your computer to download malware from a remote server. It’s simple but very effective.
With so many of these emails appearing to come from someone you know, it’s easy to slip up. The good news is that changing one setting means that you will get a warning when a document has a macro that could be malicious. Most of you should already have your Office applications setup this way, but to verify, here’s what to do:
Open your Office applications and follow this path:
- File Tab
- Options (in the left navigation)
- Trust Center
- Trust Center Settings
- Macro Settings
- Check “Disabled all macros with notification”
When you open a document that you aren’t expecting, you may be asked to Enable Content. This is a solid clue that the document may not be safe. Unless you can confirm that it came from someone you know and is legit, close the document and delete the email or send it to the Help Desk and ask to have it checked by IT. Also, if you use Office applications on your home computer, make sure this option is checked there as well. To fully prevent all macros, you can also select “Disable all macros without notification.”
Want to know other ways bad actors try to fool you? Click on the graphic below to open a larger version. Feel free to post it in your location.
Download Social Engineering Red Flags PDF