Have you ever received a phishing email? Will you recognize one when you see it? Do you know that phishing emails can cause more harm than good?
Although technological developments have driven the world economy to the forefront of global advancements, especially when it comes to the tech industry, it has also aided in increased fraudulent acts. Phishing emails is one of these major larceny actы that continue to thrive at a fast pace.
Today, phishing emails are becoming even more difficult to spot. This is because swindlers no longer operate self-wise, but use advanced modern technology to send text messages or emails to trick people into handing over sensitive data. Hence, it is important to understand how to spot a phishing attempt and learn to protect yourself when you find these emails.
The Concept of Phishing:
The term phishing was coined in 1995 when cyber hackers began nicking America Online (AOL). Phishing is an illegal act performed by swindlers to obtain private or sensitive information, such as credit card details, account login information of individuals to embezzle or rip them off. Phishing can be done through various means including, emails, text messages, or calls. Apart from this, phishing could be done using links that may lead to victims downloading malicious files or applications capable of infecting electronic devices with a virus. In this article, you will learn how to protect yourself from phishing mail. So, what is phishing email?
What is Phishing Mail?
Phishing emails are malicious emails used to lure individuals into disclosing private information. While most people are conscious and keep track of mailing data, others simply click on links sent in emails without paying heed to the content sent. If you’ve never received a phishing mail, you want to be cautious of every mail you receive. A phishing mail may look like this:
With perfectly laid out (and alarming) content like this, scammers can easily trick people into delivering confidential data without having to lift a finger. So, how do you detect such a scam email? The simple answer to this question is “Fake Content”.
The Telltale Signs of a Fake Mail:
Recognizing fake mail is pretty easy. To recognize spoofed mails, there are five things you need to observe:
- Topic, which may look over the top to convince you the mail is genuine and valid
- General greeting, which does not usually carry the customer’s name
- False explanations that are usually vague and leaving you wanting to know more
- A link that requires you to click it
- Content may carry a sense of urgency, leaving you with no choice but to click on the link.
While many people do not consider these factors and only feel the urgency of replying, you want to stay calm, stop and think about the body of the mail before taking any action. The good news is that being observant makes scammers panic. Why? They don’t want you to think!
So if there’s one thing that you remember from this article, let it be this: being observant goes a long way in protecting yourself from phishing emails.
How to Protect Yourself from Phishing Mails?
Although being observant plays a significant role in keeping you safe from phishing attacks, the bad news is that you can never be entirely safe from phishing. But, there are various ways you can protect yourself from phishing attacks, especially fake mails. To avoid falling victim to these mails, consider the following:
- Good cybersecurity software always does the job for you. Advanced security software will keep your data safe and protected.
- Using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) will keep scammers away as the VPN allows you to encrypt your mail. Hence, any information sent from a fake mailing account will not get to you. With a VPN, only intended parties are allowed access and to send you emails.
- Updating your browser when due will also keep you protected from a phishing attack. While installing the latest updates can be tiring, especially when it comes at an inconvenient time, you want to remember that software providers develop these updates because they may have found security loopholes that need quick fixes. They usually send out public information regarding what the problem was, so read it before the scammers read it and benefit from it!
- Another method of keeping your emails safe is forming a habit of responsible browsing. This could be achieved by using devices like spam filters to automatically send fake emails to the spam folders.
- Critically observe the URL first if it is present in a suspicious email. A safe web address usually begins with HTTPS. If the URL you see does not carry it, you want to quickly report and delete the mail.
- Configure your browser setting like the malware detection option to notify you of malicious emails if you do click the links attached.
Apart from this, you also want to be cautious, especially when you get mail from an unknown sender requesting your confidential data. However, if you do get a mail asking for such confidential information:
- Check to see that the email address and sender name matches.
- Check if the email comes from an authentic source.
- Avoid clicking the link or providing requested information until you are certain the email came from a safe source. Try to resolve it through other means (phone calls, in-person meetings, etc). Also. to check the authenticity of the mail, try calling the customer support team of the sender.
- Check the content for typo errors and ungrammatical sentences. These people usually do not pay attention to small grammatical errors, whereas authentic senders spend hours scanning through their emails to make sure the email is grammatically correct.
- Report suspicious emails.
Every day, phishing technique continues to change and scammers are becoming more creative with their phishing method. While dealing with phishing scams can be difficult, knowing how to protect yourself from swindlers will give you security.
I hope this post has given you some insights into identifying phishing emails efficiently. Don’t forget to share this post with your friends and make them aware too. In case you have any doubts, please comment below. Join our Telegram Channel to get the latest tech updates.