You receive an email from your bank, and they ask you to log in through a link to activate your debit card. The e-mail seems a bit strange, and you become suspicious. Is it real or is it fake? We are going to help you learn what phishing is and how you can identify a phishing email.
What is phishing?
The goal of phishing is to get a hold of personal data, files or your money. Scammers send thousands of phishing emails at the same time, hoping that a few people who are not paying attention respond to the request.
The emails play on your fear and have a compelling tone. For example, they tell you that your debit card will be blocked, unless you provide your bank details through the link in the e-mail . When you fill in your details, the scammers behind the phishing email can access your bank account.
How do you recognize a phishing email?
Phishing emails are getting better and better. Fortunately, there are a number of points that you can look for that help you identify a phishing email.
It is important to always check the mail-address of the sender. The address can clear up a lot your doubts, especially when it has many strange characters. But be careful, sometimes the address can just have a small difference from the official company address. A good example is the use of capital i (I) and the small letter L (l).
The opening line in a email:
Phishing emails rarely start with a personal opening line. 99% of phishing emails start with an impersonal “Dear Sir/Madam” or “Dear Customer”. If an email is really important or contains urgent information, the company will use a more personal approach using your first and last name.
An email with bad use of language is very suspicious. Think of grammatical mistakes, style errors, strange words or capital letters that don’t belong.
Double check links:
Links in phishing emails often refer to malicious websites. For example, you can end up on a fake website that looks similar to the official bank website. By positioning your cursor on the link, a grey bar will appear beneath the link. Here, you can see the actual address of the website where the link is sending you to, without clicking on it. Is it a strange address? If that is the case, you have received a phishing email.
Opening any attachments in a suspicious e-mail is very dangerous. These can contain malware or viruses that will damage your computer. Some viruses encrypt your files, and the scammers force you to pay a lot of money to get your files back. This is commonly known as ransomware.
Of course, not all emails with grammatical mistakes or impersonal opening lines are phishing scams, that’s why the best thing to do is contact the company where you think the e-mail is coming from. They can help you find out whether the e-mail is real or fake.
You clicked on a phishing email, what to do now?
It is important to contact the right company as soon as possible, so they can take action and prevent unauthorized use of your account. If you filled in your personal data, changing your password can help delay the scammers’ activity.
If you clicked on a link and your computer files were locked or deleted, it becomes more difficult to recover them. Storing your files in the cloud can minimize the effects of ransomware. With different features in vBoxxCloud, it is possible to retrieve your encrypted files, without paying money to the scammers.
Are you interested in keeping your files safe, and do you want to know what else vBoxxCloud can do for you? Start a free trial and discover all the possibilities!