What is Spam?
Apart from the usual annoying unwanted marketing and advertisement emails cluttering up your inbox on a daily basis, a spam email can be more dangerous. Phishing or Spear Phishing is an attempt at obtaining sensitive information through forged emails and websites to gain access to your accounts or other information. A few good examples of Phishing emails, which you will have seen before, include: correspondence from a bank telling you about an overpayment due to you that you were not expecting, or a delivery service proposing deliveries that you have no knowledge of. It is important to be able to spot a spam email, as there are some convincing ones! Scammers can now construct emails which appear to have been sent by a colleague or a friend. By spotting a spam email, you can avoid the implications of clicking on a tempting link and potentially downloading a nasty virus onto your computer system, or allowing a stranger access to sensitive information.
How do I spot a Spam email?
Be vigilant – don’t trust the display name or the branding, as these are easily replicated and very convincing. Legitimate banks and companies will never ask for personal information via email. If you receive an email from a colleague, which appears out of the norm, speak to them first to check the authenticity. Broken English, spelling mistakes and grammatical errors are all signs that the email is suspicious. Is there a lack of personal touch? ‘Valued Customer’ ‘Winner’ etc. are all red alerts for spam emails. Are you expecting the email? Phishing relies on curiosity, if it looks too good to be true then it probably is!
What do I do?
- Trust your instincts.
- Do not click on any links, open any attachments or download anything from an email which you cannot 100% completely trust. If in doubt – just don’t do it!
- If you can, find the site yourself through a search engine, or you can hover over the link in order to show the URL. But be wary, even if it looks like the real deal, it might not be.
- Contact someone you trust at the bank or company and do not use contact emails or telephone numbers contained within the email.
- If you have an IT department, ask them for help.
Can I prevent Spam?
Don’t click the link if you aren’t sure of the source.
Use spam filters, junk folders and block senders from known junk domains when you can.
Do not make any purchases from a spam email.
Never reply, report and delete.
For more information on how we can help your business contact Stephanie Coulson on 0191 211 7932.