Emails can be an essential part of our every day lives. Whether its organising meetings, sharing photo’s with friends and family or signing up for more information about something your interested in. Emails are a great form of communication and it only requires an internet connection and an email address.
However, there are some people who want to take advantage of how you interact with your emails. These people, otherwise known as hackers, tailor emails in a way that make them seem trust worthy. However, with a bit of knowledge and awareness you can easily identify whether and email is genuine or malicious. Here are some tips and pointers to help you identify them.
The biggest tell tail sign of whether an email is genuine or malicious is how the email addressed. Most major companies will know your name and will always address an email using your first name or surname. A malicious email however will use your email address instead. For example, the email would addressed like this “Dear firstname.lastname@example.org”. This is because when attackers send out emails they don’t know who they are addressing them to, as they only have your email address. If you spot this in your email chances are it is malicious, however, if you are not convinced try this next step.
The next sign of a malicious email comes down to who actually sent you the email. Usually companies will send emails from one trusted email address that looks genuine. For example, Netflix will use email@example.com which includes their brand name. If you see an email that appears to come from a trusted company or government service chances are they will not be using addresses such as Hotmail.com, gmail.com or live.co.uk.
The last sign for telling if an email is malicious can be brought down to if the email is asking for credit/debit card details. Most scam emails usually ask you to enter your card details in order to receive a prize, or they threaten you with a fine. Please be aware that any trust worthy company will not ask for your credit/debit card details through an email. If you receive an email that claims they’re from an official government service please be aware that they will not ask for payment details via an email. With these emails do not click on any buttons or links as these could contain viruses or malware.