Phishing emails are one of the most popular data extraction techniques. Every year statistics show an alarming rate at which this tactic is continuing to trap people into revealing their personal data.
A phishing email is designed to trick you into clicking on a malicious link or revealing your personal information. It can do so by exciting you with a deal, frightening you with a threat or a claim that a family member needs something from you, or posing as a website or service you trust.
If the email is from someone you've never heard of before, be on your guard. If you don’t trust the name on the email address, then don’t open it. If the email came from a trusted source but has a suspicious headline, send a separate email to that person to check whether their mailbox was compromised.
If by any chance curiosity got the better of you and you opened the email, do not click on any links and don’t download any attachments. Certain types of phishing emails might be hiding malware and will most likely infect your device.
Phishing emails are more subtle and more elaborate than they used to be. Some pretend to be from your tax refund service while others seem to come from your friends. Clicking on a link might take you to a lookalike website that will trick you into entering your personal details or downloading a virus.
Don’t rely on spam filters alone. Most email providers block users who send phishing emails by sending their emails straight to the spam folder. However, there will always be craftier criminals who will find new ways around them.
Brands that send emails to their customers focus on the details and triple check for errors. If there are spelling mistakes in the email, you may want to doubt its authenticity. An email will also be suspect if the sender’s name or address is spelled wrong – especially if it’s a large and well-known brand.
If you receive an email offering you ticket giveaways for an expensive trip, double check whether the offer is valid before you click on any links. It’s understandable that you’re curious what’s on the other side but before you carelessly give away your sensitive information, search for this offer on Google first. And remember – if it sounds too good to be true, it’s probably a scam.
To avoid a hacker draining your entire bank account with a single phishing attack, use a seperate credit card online. You can load up a virtual credit card for single payments or recurring ones to protect your main bank account.
A firewall acts as a buffer between you, your computer and online threats, so they can help reduce the chances of phishing attacks getting through to your device.
Pop-up windows often masquerade as legitimate components of a website, but most of them are phishing attempts. NordVPN's Threat Protection feature can stop invasive ads, including pop-ups and autoplay ads. You can try the NordVPN app with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
PRO TIP: If your email is hacked, this could compromise any other services to which you signed up using that email address. If you're the victim of a phishing email attack, make sure to change your authentication details on any associated accounts.
You can report phishing emails or recurrent emails from unknown senders in three ways.
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