Did you know, More than 317 million new variants of malware — computer viruses or other malicious software — were created last year? This does not include the millions of phishing attempts, that are often perpetrated through email!
This post is just a reminder of how to detect and handle suspicious/spam emails.
First, and foremost, trust your gut. If you feel something is wrong with the email, or is probably not right, you’re likely correct.
General tips on how to tell an email is fake:
- Is it for a service you don’t use or have? If so, it’s automatically fake, no matter how convincing or professional it might look. For example, you get an email from Wells Fargo and do not have any Wells Fargo accounts.
- Is there an unexpected attachment? If so, there’s a good chance it’s a fake email.
- A more special case: if the email has a .zip file attached to it, you should consider the email highly suspicious unless you have a very good reason otherwise (such as you’ve been told to expect the zipped file).
- Does the email mention money, finances, or a related topic? You should consider these emails hugely suspicious, and not click on any of the links there.
Check the link(s):
By moving your mouse cursor over the link and waiting for the address to popup, you can see if the link text matches the actual website address. If it doesn’t look like what you were expecting, or it is a shorted URL (like bit.ly), do not click it!
How you should handle spam emails:
Just delete them- don’t click on any links in them.
How to handle suspicious emails:
Deleting them is the best idea- if you are unsure about an email, please forward the email to your IT provider/staff, and let them examine it, then tell you how you should proceed.
You could also call the person if you have their number, and ask them about the email.
Also, be sure to avoid clicking links and providing personal information, EVEN if the website seems legitimate. Legitimate companies will not ask you to provide sensitive information online.
I hope this helps you avoid some headaches!