Phishing emails are widespread. In fact, many people fall victim to phishing emails more than once in their lifetime. You will often receive emails promising that you will win a great prize if you follow the link to the “front end” of the email (the page where you would enter your personal information). Don’t be fooled.
There are steps to spot a phishing email address and here they are: –
When you click on the link in the email, look at the address very carefully. Don’t just go by the name of the company or person that is sending you the email. Look at the address to see if it’s familiar or look for variations of that name. If it’s a common name, you may want to call up that company or person and ask who they are. You can also do this research online.
– Watch out for the “from” line in the email address. A company or individual’s name should always follow a “from” line. This is especially true when it is an email address. Just as a company would have its own phone number rather than generic lines, so should you.
– Look at the subject line. A common subject line is a link to something else. For instance, an email might say “How To Identify a Phishing Email.” Look for a link that leads to a website that claims to give information about how to identify a phishing email address. These websites tend to charge a small fee for the information.
– Look at the sender’s name in an email. Sometimes an email address has only the sender’s name and this can be very helpful. However, sometimes it is just the sender’s IP address. If the email in question is from someone across the world, then the IP address can be very helpful. You can trace where this person is through an email address.
– Look at the subject line in an email. Is there something odd about the subject line? Maybe there is. Sometimes the email address is just simply typed in with no real subject. Check out the grammar and spelling of the email address.
– Do not trust emails sent from a strange address. They could be spam emails or phishing emails. They might even be viruses! The email address could be fake or a hacker created it to trick you into opening it or clicking on a link. Check it out with anti-virus software or a search engine.
These are only some ways how to identify a phishing email before you open it. In fact, there are more advanced ways that can help you do it faster and easier. But if you cannot identify an email right away, do not worry. There are ways of knowing if the email is phishing for you.
– Look at the subject line. Is it talking about you personally? Does it look like it might be something personal or maybe your email address has been stolen? Look at the header or subject area to see if it looks legitimate.
– Look online for news about email address owners. Some people post their personal information online. Look for news about the owner of the email address and try to find out if it is real. It would be best to put the address into a search engine to see if other people have been making contact with it.
– Try to think like an email spammer. They send messages out to millions of people. Usually, they target not-so-tech-savvy people. The goal of these spammers is to get as much information as they can out of people. They also use specific words or phrases that are known to attract people to give up valuable information such as their email address. Sometimes, these emails come from banks or government agencies.
Just take your time and look around before you act. There are more reasons why people want to obtain your information than you may have imagined. When you are online, keep your eye out for these scams because you never know who might be trying to use your/friends email address to obtain things from you. Protect your identity!