Emailing is one of the most convenient ways to stay in touch and exchange information in a more personal yet professional manner online. While there are other messaging features from different social media websites, nothing beats having an email when it comes to communication for personal or professional purposes.
However, one must remember that as with anything which makes use of the Internet, there are certain risks that one must be aware of, so that they can be avoided. Phishing is one of the risks that come with frequent or improper internet use. In its simplest definition, phishing is when another individual or group of people extorts money from their victims by sending them emails. Ultimately, they can get access to your passwords, bank account numbers, and other sensitive information from where they can get money from you.
Cybercriminals achieve this theft by installing malicious software into your computer and stealing valuable information from you as well. They also send you messages that will convince you to give out personal information which they can in turn use to get money from your accounts. Other tactics in email phishing scams include sending several emails with various instructions, calling you on the phone, and enticing or directly instructing you to download software which will be their key to getting that much-needed information.
Tips for Identifying Email Phishing Scams
What are you being asked to do? If it is anything along the lines of downloading a software you don’t need but they tell you that you “need” it, be cautious. If you did not have a previous conversation with the person who is suddenly sending you this email, it would be best to not do anything it says.
Pulling on your heart strings. Some scam emails pull on your heartstrings by saying some personal things—disguising as a friend in need, or perhaps saying they are from an organization that needs help. Countercheck with the person they are pretending to be and check for more information about what organization they’re saying they are before doing anything.
Bad grammar and spelling mistakes. Cybercriminals don’t pay much attention when it comes to their grammar and more often than not, bad spelling can be the top indicator of a phishing email.
A threatening email. If you ever receive a threatening email saying your system’s security has been breached and that you need this and that software to get it cleaned up, do not follow the instructions especially if the email is from someone you do not know or not from the antivirus provider you have.
From “legit” websites. There are those which use names that can trick you by sounding very much like famous websites. Make sure you read links thoroughly and see if there are no unnecessary characters that would lead you to malicious pages.
By following these tips against email phishing scams, you can avoid the trouble of dealing with these people and you can keep your accounts safe, too. Have you ever had a phishing experience before? We’d like to hear your story!