We all get our share of spams, some get it often, while others come across them rarely. But differentiating between genuine and spam mails is a tough job. Once can easily recognize and discard commercial spam emails but identifying and discarding dangerous spam emails is bit of a task.
This raises a question how can one identify and discard emails with malicious link, attachment, or those that are trying to scam and grab money or personal information.
For instance, let’s assume if you are able to detect malicious emails then what? Will reporting a spam email or delete emails will do or is there something else that needs to be taken care of?
The best way to fight and determine spam is to gain knowledge and have an insight about things.
But how to determine that is the question, so here we bring for you flags that will help you spot malicious emails.
5 Signs That’ll Help You Spot Malicious Emails
Before we learn what we should do with malicious mails, let’s understand how to determine. For this we can take help of certain tricks to spot malicious emails.
The tricks that will helps us in detecting malicious emails are as follows:
1. Look for the sender’s address
Check for the sender name and email address, also see if it matches with the company domain from which the person claims to be associated. Besides, check if the sender just displays the name or does it show name with the email address. You need to keep eye of a hawk to detect fraud as tricksters have become smart they won’t let you detect any discrepancy that easily.
2. The addressee should know the sender and vice versa
Check if the recipient name is spelled correctly, and whether or not the receiver has been addressed appropriately. Also, check for the signature, are they the same as the sender puts them or is there any change in them. If you have received any email from a financial institution note that your bank will never address you as “Dear customer.” As they have access to all your details they will address you with your name. The won’t use generic way of interacting. If any mail is intended just for your, you will always be addressed your name.
3. Check the links received in email
Always remember to hover over the link received in email. Avoid clicking on them instantly. Check the destination URL first, if it matched the destination site you wish to visit or were expecting in the mail only then click on it. If you see the link shortened, always raise an eye of suspicion . If you know how the company sends mails or you have a portal on the site from where you can check the mails sent to you, check it from there and confirm. Only then click on such links.
Also Read : Must Know Facts About Mobile Spyware Apps
4. Check for language, spelling errors
If you receive an email full of grammatical errors and spelling mistakes never trust it. Besides, if the mail is multilingual use the translator service to see what it has for you. Once you are sure about the content only then trust the mail or click on any email received in the mail or download the attachment.
5. Email received is too good to be true
Never trust anything that looks too fancy or too good to be true. Presumably such things are never true. No one will ever leave huge estates or dollars for you without you knowing them. Never share your bank details when the email asks to transfer the amount you have won in the lottery needs to be transferred. Don’t ever trust anyone who asks for any financial information online.
So, does this mean mails having all these things will be malicious?
We aren’t claiming that 100% such mails will be spam but you need to consider the above tricks if you actually want to differentiate between genuine and malicious mails. Every mail that has any of the above-mentioned attributes should create a doubt and always cross check such mails. If the sender looks suspicious never trust on anything said in the mail.
But remember with time hackers are becoming smart they won’t make common mistakes like sending emails from obvious mails id that look fake, they won’t use signatures that can be easily checked for their genuineness, domain names they use will look genuine at first look so you need to be more vigilant to stay protected from such scams.
Therefore, besides checking all the things explained above, you need to always keep your eyes open, never trust anything that you have heard. Always conduct a thorough research to determine whether a mail is genuine or malicious.
Remember, reputed companies will never follow false practice or would ask you to share any personal or financial details.
Well known banks never send mails asking for credentials, they never send or use shortened links, and they certainly never ask to share card details. Besides, IRS and MS won’t ever send emails asking you to send money as your machine is infected and to fix it you need to pay. Apart from this, there are certain other things that a company won’t ever do like sending mails of winning a lottery, or sending mails stating ways to earn money, all these ways are usually followed by fraudsters.
Besides keeping these points in mind remember you should not open or download an attachment received in email under any circumstances. If you receive an attachment from unknown person or without a prior notice from a company never open it, there are chances that it will spam. However, if you receive it from a known person or company cross check it and only then download. If it has an executable file or the downloaded file asks you to enable Macro never do so.
All these are common things that a spam mail may come with, besides sometimes malicious mail come with a call-to-action button. This button is a fancy button that is sent in the mail to draw attention. Avoid clicking on such buttons they are dangerous.
Another type of dangerous spam is phishing emails. These emails may not directly ask any personal information but may seek information about the company you work in and your colleagues. It isn’t always about the password or card details sometimes the threat actor is just looking for the data to send spam mails. Therefore, always be cautious and stay vigilant, never share any information without cross verifying with the person about the information he has asked to share over email.
After knowing all this now the question is what to do with a suspected malicious email. So, let’s know about it.
What to do with suspicious emails?
The answer to this is very simple, delete malicious email.
Never open them and if you delete them then never leave them in the Trash folder, always delete it from there also.
If you have the option to report the spam mail always do so, before deleting such mails. This will help the platform to identify spam mails and to take action against them.
Finally, use a separate email to receive emails from banks or any financial institution. Never use one email address for all purposes. If you do so, you may become an easy target. Always keep an eye of suspicion and keep on changing your bank passwords.
Never use passwords that are easy to guess.
Safe practices when receiving mail
If you want to stay safe from such mails, you need to be proactive for this, here we share certain tips. To use these tips, you need to make certain changes in the default settings of your email client.
Our suggestions are as follows:
- Read in plain text, avoid using preview window to see emails, this will help lessen the chances of malicious script running on your machine or getting downloaded.
- Before clicking on any URL hover over the link and see which link it will redirect too. If you cannot see it then try to go to the site directly and click on the link from there.
- Look for sender’s complete email address before opening an email. If you are unable to find it then delete it and do not try to open.
- Use spam filter option if you have it. We won’t say it is completely safe but it does save you from lot of trouble.
- Don’t open attachments that you weren’t expecting.
Hope these pointers will help you in determining spam mails and dealing with it. Deleting a spam mail is the safest bet to protect yourself but that is done after the mail is identified as spam. Therefore, if you can detect a mail prior to it being dropped in your inbox it will be best.
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