Regardless of your email provider we have all received them; emails that feature strange subject lines, you do not recognize the sender, or even better inform you that you are the next of kin to a Saudi Prince. Something just does not seem right about these emails. Other emails can look very legitimate. You could receive an email from your bank of choice saying your credit card has been compromised. All of these unusual emails are a type of attack is known as Phishing.
Phishing is a form of social engineering. Social engineering is in which an individual or organization is contacted by email, telephone, or even a text message by someone posing as a legitimate institution or authority. They then try to lure individuals into providing sensitive information. That sensitive information is then used to access important accounts that can lead to identity theft and financial loss.
Some simple tips and advice can help prevent this from ever happening:
If you do not recognize the sender, the email domain looks wrong (Microsoft-Support.com) or there are several misspellings, do not open the email, simply delete it. Emails like this could have hyperlinks that install malware or other harmful software.
Some Phishing emails often attempt blackmail. These are commonly known as Sexploitation emails. In these phishing schemes, the attacker threatens that they have hacked into your account and webcam and caught you “doing nasty thing”. They then threaten to email said evidence to everyone in your contact list if you do not pay the Bitcoin ransom. Again, disregard and delete.
Microsoft will never call you to inform you that your installation of Windows has been compromised. This voice phishing seems to be more common. The “Microsoft Representative” will then for a fee want to install remote software to fix the issue. Please just hang up the phone.
These are some of the more commonly used types of phishing schemes that are used. If you run into any of these, make sure that you delete the emails or hang up the phone. These tips should help you avoid many of the common phishing schemes.
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