Have you ever received emails that are just too good to be true? But too tempting to ignore? It might be best if you’d just ignore them for they might be dangerous spam emails that could wreak havoc in your entire network.
Every so often, you’ll find emails in your inbox that can seem a little fishy. They may include promos or links that urge you to click and engage. Sometimes, they can slip through your primary inbox and confuse you into thinking you’re opening a legitimate email.
Nobody wants to risk being a victim of a phishing attack through a spam email right? And as the saying goes “Prevention is better than cure.” While there are some great mailbox protection software to help you protect your inbox, today we just want to go back to basics and give some tips on how you can identify spam emails.
How to Identify Spam Emails
- If it’s too good to be true, then it probably isn't true or good.
Sometimes you might receive emails telling you how lucky you are for winning some cash or a grand prize and all you need to do is click on the link or enter your personal details to claim your prize. Beware! Before clicking the bait, have a think: did you actually even enter into a competition? If not, it's pretty unlikely that anyone is giving away free millions to random people. Don’t take the bait and don't click on any links.
- Questionable email address
The first thing you should set your eyes on in a fishy email is the email address. See if it is from a familiar contact AND if the address looks legitimate. Sometimes the display name might seem correct, but the email address is actually pretty dodgy. If it seems off like the image below, then it’s safer to abstain from engaging with any the content in the email.
- Strange attachments
Almost always, spammers leave links and attachments in their emails that lead you to unsafe websites and harmful files. Better not download or click into anything strange to avoid the risk of attacks. Occasionally the link might look legitimate, but when you hover over the URL, you'll notice that the website it's going to is definitely not legitimate. Don't be tricked into clicking on it.
- Unfamiliar display name
Would you trust a stranger on the street who suddenly offers you to visit their home? Of course not. Same applies with your emails. If the display name doesn’t ring a bell and it’s asking you to click on odd looking links, you probably shouldn’t oblige.
- Check for little mistakes on spelling, url, and email address
Spam emails are usually written in bulk and in a rushed manner. Therefore, a quality control on each email being sent out is unlikely. It's quite common to receive emails with badly constructed sentence or misspelled words here and there. Keep your eye out on those little mistakes - they're generally a warning sign that the email is spam.
- Questionable signature
Just for a moment, compare your company email signature with the spam email’s signature. Are the differences remarkable? In a spam email, you may find awkwardly arranged links at the end that urges you to unsubscribe. But clicking so might only bring you more headache instead. Keep safe by ignoring these calls to action in the email signature.
Now that you already know how to identify spam emails from legitimate emails, next step should be to get rid of the ones you’ll find in your inbox right away. More than knowing what spam emails look like, it’s more important to be careful of your email activities. Do not trust every single one that lands on your inbox and (please please please) be vigilant about opening them.
Getting trapped into a spam email’s trickery can put your whole business at risk. What wouldn’t hurt though is checking for every suspicious signs before diving in. You can also consider installing an antivirus or anti malware software to help with blocking out these pesky spammers or contact your trusted IT partner to ask for suggestions on the best action plan to keep your business safe from cyber attacks.