Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Spot Phishing Emails Before They Trick You!

Emails have truly revolutionized communication. They offer ease of use and simplicity. Emails are widely used today for personal as well as business correspondence. There are many paid and free email service providers. For all the benefits they offer, emails have also been misused. Spammers use emails to swamp your mailboxes with unsolicited emails and hackers use it to gain access to your personal information using phishing emails.

Phishing Attacks

Phishing scams are fake email messages which may seem to have been sent from real organizations such as banks. They are usually well formulated and ask recipients to provide their personal details. Sometimes they require you to click on a link. Clicking on the link usually downloads malware onto your computer which can then wreak havoc. Cybercriminals have become so adept at creating malicious phishing emails that the content includes logos and color schemes similar to the organizations they are masquerading as.

Spot Phishing Emails

There are different types of phishing frauds.

Conventional Phishing Scams

This is the most common attack. It is basically an email that is sent out in bulk with the hope of trapping as many users as possible. You might be familiar with the Nigerian email scams that have flooded almost all our mailboxes.


This attack typically targets the CXO level group. For example, a whaling email might appear to have been sent by the CEO to all employees of the organization. The intention is to trick employees into sharing confidential company data that could then be misused by cyber criminals.

Spear Phishing

Spear phishing is more of a targeted kind of attack where a specific individual or group of individuals are targeted.

Protect Yourself From Phishing Attacks

So then how do you protect yourself from phishing scams? Here are some ways by which you can spot phishing emails and stay safe.

  • Check the email address of the sender. Does it have any errors in the spelling or the domain name?
  • Is the message requesting you to share private information? Remember, organizations such as banks never ask you for your personal details on email.
  • Is the message offering you something that appears too good to be true -Like a lottery or a reward in a competition that you did not even participate in? Think twice before responding to such emails.

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