How to Spot a Fake Email and Avoid Phishing Scams

What is Phishing?

Phishing is any attempt to obtain sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details by posing as a reputable entity in emails or other forms of online communication.

E.g.: someone pretending to be from your bank sending an email to ask for your PIN or online banking username and password.

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Spotting a fake email

Rule no.1: Always be suspicious.

Check for these 3 things in every email you get from what seems to be a legitimate sender/institution:

  1. That the spelling of the sender’s email address is accurate: sometimes it only takes one changed letter to steal your data.
  2. That it’s your address in the TO section. Not you and some other people, not the sender itself with your address in cc.
  3. Spelling errors: an email that is really from a bank or some other institution will not contain blatant spelling errors.

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Rule no.2: Make sure the email is personalized and contains your name – no “Dear client,”  no “Hello, Valued Customer”

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Rule no.3: Never click on a link or open attachments (even PDFs) you were not expecting to receive.

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Rule no.4: Remember that banks & other institutions will never ask for your confidential info in an email. They might call you or send you a letter by post, but not an email.

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Rule no.5: When in doubt, just DELETE!

If you have a feeling that the email is fake but can’t really tell for sure, better to be safe than sorry and just delete it.

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Rule no.6: Use different passwords

Never use the same password for most – or worse, all – your accounts. If someone gets their hands on your credentials for one website, then they’ve got the key to all your online accounts. Ouch!

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Rule no.7: Protect your connection

Especially on open WiFi networks, use a Keezel to create your own private hotspot and protect yourself from website spoofing attacks.

Get your Keezel now!

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Posted in Tips & Tricks