Urgency or Threats

Many of the examples already shown rely on psychology as much as anything else. Hackers know that humans are driven by emotions like greed and fear, and their malware delivery mechanisms play on those feelings.

It can be hard to step back in a fast-paced, busy world, especially on the Internet where everything is milliseconds away. Be aware of this. An email which says an account will be suspended if a password is not changed RIGHT NOW is scary but think about it. Even if a provider has a reason to immediately shut down a user without plenty of notice, one can find an alternate way to contact them other than clicking on a link in the frightening email.

It helps to talk to IT personnel, or even a colleague, just to get emotions out of the way. Lawyers are under a great deal of stress, and urgent, scary messages can tip us over the edge or cause us to do things we would not do in more serene moments. Take a breath, think about the situation, and practice the protections elsewhere in this module.