The world has witnessed rapid growth and development in the digital sphere in recent times. Sadly, the development is all-inclusive. New ways have been devised to defraud people of their hard earned money and vital information. One prominent way is Email Phishing. In this article, we are going to find out how to spot and prevent phishing email attacks.
Email phishing is, fraudsters basically trying to trick you into providing your card details, internet banking username and password so that they can gain access to an online platform. Once they gain access, they can use your divulged personal information to commit identity theft, charge your credit cards, empty your bank accounts, read your email, and lock you out of your online account by changing your password.
First, we need to know what a phishing email looks like.
How to Identify Phishing Email Attack
What an email owner does in first few minutes of seeing a suspected fraudulent email is very vital. The tips below will help you know if you have been sent a fraudulent/scam email:
- The sender’s address inconspicuously copies a real one.
- If urgent action is required
- Email directs you to a fake website
- If email readily arrives in your JUNK/SPAM inbox
- If email wants you to ‘Allow” a strange pop-up
- If email is reeled with poor grammar
The sender’s address inconspicuously copies a real one.
If the “from” address is unofficial or copies a real one, there’s high likelihood that the email is phishing. For example, if you have had prior correspondence with a genuine ‘email@example.com’ but a ‘sam.keIIy@banknaija.com’ messages you later to provide urgent personal information. See that original email has ‘KELLY’ while the malicious email has ‘KEIIY’. If this is detected early enough, it is best to NOT click anything. Just look for the delete button and send that dirt down to trash. Then proceed to delete the email from trash as well.
If Urgent Action is Required
Fraudsters love to play the ‘fast’ one. If an email arrives in your inbox and requires you to instantly provide private confidential information, said email is prone to phishing activities. Confidential information e.g BVN, phone number, date-of-birth, passwords, OTPs, are best kept with owner. DO NOT SHARE.
Email directs you to a Fake Website
If the email posts a link to guide you to a fake website, please immediately close and delete such email. Most fraudsters are technology savvy. A bot meant to pull your private information might have been installed in the luring link. WATCH WHAT YOU CLICK.
If email readily arrives in your JUNK/SPAM inbox
Email service providers have some attributes vaguely flagged out. Phishing emails have attributes peculiar to them only, necessary preset actions are activated on them once the phishing email arrives in your box. By default, the suspected phishing email is moved to the ‘JUNK/SPAM’ inbox where they wait for you to visit and view. You can also override potential deletion if email is, in fact, genuine.
If Email Wants You to ‘Allow” a Strange Pop-up
Be very wary of pop-ups, they are technically ways of saying ‘I permit you access to my information’. It’s an eery world out there, a malicious pop-up allowed can grant a hacker access into your computer and important files. Only allow pop-ups if you’re entirely sure of what the pop-up is.
If Email is reeled with Poor Grammar
A typical genuine official email is proof-read on different levels. Usually, this is done before sender finally sends email to you. This means you can hardly find a grammatical or typographical error in an official email. How else do you spot and prevent phishing email attacks? Spelling errors and poor grammar are usually quick ways to spot phishing email attacks. Reasons are quite simple; the rigorous proof-reading process is not observed and fraudsters are most-likely in a rush to send the malicious email. So, always look out for correct grammar in your received emails.