Updated: Jul 4, 2019
Did you know that every 60 seconds there are over 100,000 emails sent that are trying to obtain sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, or credit card details? And that 77% of all spam email that is sent contains some sort of malicious file? It can be a little bit scary to think about. It doesn’t have to be though. Today, I want to go through some ways that you can visually identify an email as spam.
Look at the domain name of the sender
This is the part of the email address after the @ symbol. As an example, firstname.lastname@example.org has the domain name of p1six.tech. People sending these often forge or mimic these. As an example, someone may send an email pretending to be from Microsoft and instead of using the domain name microsoft.com may use micr0soft.com. It’s a small change but if you’re looking for it, you’ll see it.
Look at the links.
Links can give away a lot of information if you’re looking for it. Mostly though we’re going to recommend two things: Look at the domain part of the website address, just like with the email. For the website www.google.com, google.com is the domain name. The second things you can do is not to click links unless you were expecting it. As an example, if you get an email asking you to reset your password, don’t click the link, it’s likely to be malicious. Instead, open your browser and go to the website yourself. E.g. if you get an email asking you to reset your password for Facebook, open up Facebook, log in and check without using the link in the email.
If you’re unsure – Check
This may sound obvious, but it can be easily overlooked. It’s easy to trust an email from a friend or co-worker but you need to be vigilant. If you’re not sure, give the person it came from a call and just check. Calling or in person is much better than checking by email because an email response may come from someone malicious with control of the email account.