How can you learn to recognise phishing emails and avoid getting scammed online? Read on for useful tips and solutions.
Phishing is a popular type of internet scamming and fraud. Hackers or shrewd crooks fish for valuable information. Criminals try to mislead you with targeted false e-mail messages. Getting their hands on your (bank) account details, login or credit card details is the aim of their game.
Everyone can become a target of phishing emails
Phishing emails are hardly distinguishable from legit ones. Internet thieves use well-known institutions such as banks and even the tax authorities to break into your business. Keep in mind that every person or business can become a target. In this blog we aim to give you handy tips with which you can keep yourself from becoming a victim of online phishing.
What is the purpose of phishing emails?
Phishing emails are usually mails that look like they were sent to you by well-known and reliable companies
A scam email usually targets the weakest link in computer security: its user…you. A criminal tries to establish a connection with you through “personal” contact. Or tries to lure you into their trap with a good story. Phishing or scamming is not only done by e-mail but also by phone, or via messages on social media.
What do scam emails look like?
As we now know, phishing mails are sent by cybercriminals to fish for your data look more and more real. Nowadays, these mails look very polished, complete with logos and sender details. Let’s look at some phishing email examples.
Double-check your mail
Nearly everyone has received a phishing email. Sometimes these emails are notable for obvious errors in the language used. But how can you recognise a phishing mail? If you are not sure if a mail sent to you is legit, don’t be embarrassed to phone the company that (apparently) sent the mail.
Phishing email examples
You can familiarise yourself with often used designs of phishing emails. Here you will find some good phishing email examples. Scammers are very creative in their approaches when it comes to online scamming. Looking at some phishing email examples can help you become more aware of their different methods.
Who are targeted with phishing mails?
Of course phishing is not only aimed at adults. Children, people who shop online and the elderly (who do not always have much knowledge of this type of scam) can also be targeted. It’s hardly ever personal. Criminals simply send out a huge batch of these mails to a number of email addresses to see who ‘bites’.
Why is phishing successful?
Anyone who has an Internet connection runs the risk of becoming a victim of phishing attacks. Via a phishing mail, cyber criminals try to obtain your login details, credit card details or other sensitive or personal information. With your information they can then withdraw money from your bank account or use your credit card.
How can you prevent phishing?
With the following tips you can guard yourself better against scam emails:
Install a trustworthy external spam filter
A good spam filter is an external spam filter that filters your entire domain externally. This is also called an online or hosted spam filter. Here you will find a review of popular spam filters.
Check the scam email sender
If you point your mouse on the sender of an email (or click your right mouse button on the name of the sender), you will often see the full name of the sender, including their e-mail address. This name also tells you the domain name from which the sender sent their message to you.
Beware: criminals are increasingly using domain names which look very similar to the real website, such as: wwwbbc.com.
Check links before you click
Be extra vigilant if you are asked to click on a button or on a link in a potential scam email. If someone sends you a link to a funny video or a news page, just search for the content on the official website. The same applies to offers and contact requests.
Check the URL of the website
All large institutions and banks or the tax authorities have a so-called certified SSL certificate in their web address. This means that you will see a green lock in the address bar with the company name behind it. Also, the url always begins with https:// and never with http://. So before you enter anything on a website, you should check whether these features are present.
Keep your money and personal details safe
We shop online and often do our banking online. Prevent theft of your money and credit card balance. Do not share your passwords and choose a safe prepaid credit card for shopping or traveling. Using a prepaid credit card such as Neosurf makes it possible to spend money online without entering many private details (and without someone plundering your bank account). When you use a prepaid credit card, no private bank details are shared.
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With a prepaid credit card, you are less vulnerable to online scamming. You decide how much money you put on your prepaid card. The only money that could be lost if you are scammed (or lose your card) is the amount that you put on your card. And you can safely top-up your prepaid credit card anywhere in the world.