It seems like every day, we hear about a new data breach or cyberattack. And unfortunately, email is one of the most common ways that cybercriminals gain access to your information. In fact, phishing and scam emails are on the rise, and it’s important to be aware of the dangers they pose. Cybercriminals are getting more sophisticated in their attacks, and it is more important than ever to protect your data and private information. In this article, we are going to discuss what phishing emails are, how to spot them, and tips on how to prevent them.
What Are Phishing Emails?
If you are not familiar with phishing emails, they are essentially fraudulent emails that are designed to look like they are from a legitimate source. They often contain links or attachments that can lead to malware being installed on your computer. Cybercriminals will use this malware to gain access to your sensitive data or even take control of your system.
With emails getting sent out daily in the thousands, it can be difficult to spot a phishing email. Cybercriminals are getting more sophisticated in their attacks, and they often target businesses and individuals alike. In order to protect yourself, it is important to know what to look for.
How to Spot Phishing Emails
There are a few things that you can look for that will help you identify a phishing email:
Check the Email Address
First, check the sender’s address. If the email is supposedly from a legitimate source, such as your bank or credit card company, but the sender’s address does not match up, it is likely a phishing email.
Spelling & Grammar Errors
Also, be on the lookout for misspellings or grammatical errors in the body of the email. These can be red flags that the email is not legitimate.
Suspicious Attachments & Links
Another thing to look for is unexpected attachments or links. If you are not expecting an attachment from the sender, be wary of opening it. And if there is a link in the email, make sure that you hover over it to see where it is actually taking you. Oftentimes, phishing emails will contain links that appear to be legitimate but actually lead to malicious websites.
It Seems Urgent
Phishing emails often try to create a sense of urgency in order to get you to take action without thinking. They may say that your account has been compromised or that there is some sort of problem that needs to be addressed immediately. If an email seems urgent, take a step back and think about whether or not it is actually legitimate before taking any action.
Tips on How to Prevent Phishing Emails
Now that we have discussed what phishing emails are and how to spot them let’s talk about how you can prevent them.
Use Strong Passwords & Two-Factor Authentication
One of the best ways to protect yourself from phishing attacks is to use strong passwords and two-factor authentication (if available). That way, even if a cybercriminal does gain access to your account, they will not be able to do much damage.
Be Wary of Links & Attachments
As we mentioned before, one of the biggest red flags of a phishing email is an unexpected attachment or link. If you are not expecting an attachment from the sender, don’t open it. And if you are unsure about a link, make sure that you hover over it to see where it is actually taking you before clicking on it.
Keep Your Software Up-To-Date
Another important step in preventing phishing attacks is to keep your software up-to-date. Cybercriminals often exploit vulnerabilities in outdated software to gain access to your system. By keeping your software up-to-date, you can close these vulnerabilities and make it more difficult for cybercriminals to gain access to your data.
Use Shredding Services
It’s important to protect your information, and a great way to do that is to use a shredding service and destroy anything that contains any personal information on it so scammers won’t find your email address, phone number, and name in the trash.
Shredding services provide a variety of options for businesses and residents to keep their private information safe and away from scammers like Scheduled Shredding, Purge Shredding, and Hard Drive Destruction. So you can find the right service to help protect your personal information.
Be Careful Where You Share Your Email Address
Finally, be careful about where you share your email address. If you are not sure that a website is legitimate, don’t enter your email address into it. And if you receive an unsolicited email from a sender that you do not know, it is best to just delete it.
Phishing emails are a serious threat to your data security, and it is important to be aware of the dangers they pose. Cybercriminals are getting more sophisticated in their attacks, so it is more important than ever to protect your information.
If you need shredding services to help keep your confidential information secure, contact us today! We offer secure document destruction that will help safeguard your information.