In 2018, IBM Security together with Ponemon Institute published the results of their research regarding data security. They found out that compared to 2017 the cost of data breach increased by 6.4% and accounted for $3.86 million. And an interesting fact is that 90% of all data attacks were initiated through phishing.
Additionally, Verizon has informed that 30% of phishing emails get opened by target recipients. This is why it is so important to be cautious and able to spot suspicious emails that come to your inbox.
So, in this blog post, we will learn how to detect that the email is bad and how to prevent becoming a victim.
What is phishing?
Phishing is defined as a type of cybercrime. Usually, the victims are owners of email accounts. However, phishing can be executed via a telephone as well.
The purpose of the scammer is to steal your personal data such as email address, password, phone number, credit card information, or others to conduct a crime on your behalf.
In 2004, the first attack took place in California. A teenager built a fake website and received sensitive data from visitors. As a result, he accessed their credit card details and was able to withdraw money from their banking accounts.
How to understand that you received a phishing email
As a rule, when you receive an email you have not expected, you simply click on it and close without paying attention to details unless you are interested in some content inside. It is a better option.
However, there is a worse one. When you not only scroll the email and read it to the end but also click some links from it. You swallow the bait of the scammer right at the moment when you click the link. Remember this because it is very important.
So, here are some signs to pay attention to:
1. The email includes a request for your sensitive information
If prior to receiving an email, no one from a legitimate government agency has called you and notified about a request for sensitive information, you may be sure this email contains malware and is dangerous for you.
2. There is no salutation with your name.
All official service providers use the names of their subscribers to welcome them when sending different types of emails.
3. The sender email address looks weird
A usual personal email address looks typically. It can consist of the name and surname, some common word combination, nickname, or pseudonym. Companies create addresses with their names and well-recognized domains. If you see something like [email protected], it’s a phishing email for sure.
4. The text in the email is written with multiple mistakes
Pay attention to the way the email is written. The one with multiple strange errors and poor grammar might be dangerous.
5. The email includes a very spammy call-to-action
Just look at this example and you will understand. Note that the entire email area is clickable.
6. There are suspicious attachments
If the email carries attachments you did not ask about, do not click to download them.
7. There are links without explanation where they lead
If you see a link inside the email, hover the cursor over it. In the left bottom corner, you will see where it can really lead you. If it looks suspicious, never follow such links.
8. When opening the email, you feel the urgency in its content
Phishing emails are always written in an urgent manner. For example, you may be asked to update your personal information in some account because it will expire.
Digital criminals have become very creative and discover a lot of new ways to scam. Make sure your device is protected, install additional security software on your computer. You can choose a VPN which is a reliable way to avoid phishing. It makes your internet connection private and anonymous, thus all sensitive information remains visible only to you.
Check every email, see how it looks, whether it includes all necessary parts (including a well-written email signature), and simply adhere to the tips mentioned above.