Thousands of phishing mails are being send to several online users everyday. So there will be no exceptional if one of those emails land in your mail inbox today. Phishing attempts are made to drain out some of the sensitive information that can be used by the cyber criminals for doing some unfair practices which may harm you financially or technically. Some time phishing attempts are done to steal identities as well. You can protect yourself from these phishing emails by identifying them before they can trap you.
Some of the ways through which you can identify a phishing email are :
Link to click upon: If there is a link in an email and the sender have emphasized that you should click on the given link then get alert. Phishing emails generally contain unauthentic links, so avoid clicking the links present in an email.
Spelling and grammatical mistakes: If an email is full of grammatical disasters and spelling mistakes then there are greater chances that the email is a phishing attempt. Spelling and grammatical mistakes are easy to recognize, so use them as a way to protect yourself against phishing.
An imagine is the only content: The email which have only an image in the message body can be a phishing email. The entire message will be written and designed in the form of an image. So if you receive an email like this simply delete it or mark as spam.
Trying to drag out your personal details: Phishing emails can request you to provide some sensitive information like your username or password or the details of your credit card or online banking. Do not provide any of your personal information before being sure that the email is authentic. Well, non of the authentic organizations usually ask for personal information through email. So ignore emails asking for personal details as it can be a phishing attempt.
Hard to believe: If the content of an email is so astonish that it is hard to believe then beware. If an emails says that you have an unclaimed prize or you have won millions of money in a lottery and you just need to provide your bank details so that the amount can be transferred to your account then definitely it is a phishing email.
Name of a reputed company is being used: The cyber criminals generally send phishing emails with the name of a reputed company so that the receiver can believe it easily. For example, If you will receive an email for filpkart.com that they are offering 95% of discount for registered users and you only have to give your username and password to claim the offer. So, as a user you will figure out that filpkart is an authentic company and you may provide the information. Always crosscheck these types of offers by providing wrong username and password. Even if wrong password is acceptable than it is a fake email.
Reply deadlines : The phishing emails generally gives a time period for replying back the email. They mention that the email should be replied within the 24 hours or in 2 days so that the receiver should not get the time to check the credibility of the email. These emails use to threaten users with lines like your account will be closed or you will not be our registered member any more.
Steps that should be taken when your realize that you have provided your personal information to a false authority:
- If you have provided the username and password of your email address or any other online membership, change the password straight away.
- If the credit card details are being communicated try to change the password or block your card.
- Change your online banking password.
- Inform the authority who’s name was used as the sender of the phishing mail.
- Buy some security software that can prevent your computer or laptop from these phishing attempts.
- In India, you can file a complain against the phishing attempt at the Cyber Crime Cells. Go to the link given below to launch your complain: http://cybercrimecomplaints.com/cyber-crime-cells-india
Phishing attempts are very common and are known for tricking many peoples every second. But by keeply the above guidelines in your mind, you can easily protect yourself from these phishing attempts. Always be quick rigid in providing important and sensitive information online. Judge the emails before believing its content.