The Dangers of Phishing Scams and How Can They Hurt You

We often choose to communicate with people through email and other online means because of the convenience that comes with it. Through email, you can send important information, valuable data, and a long list of other important items at the click of a button.

Unfortunately, many people have decided to take advantage of this convenience and use it to steal people’s information, assume their identity, and do much worse. This is called phishing, and many people are at risk of being a victim to it.

Different Forms of Phishing Scams

Since social media and other forms of communication have come about, phishing scams have evolved. There are different ways in which people use these platforms to try to trick you into giving away your private information. One such scam involves messaging you through either your social media account or email and, within that message, sending you a link to a particular website. The website would then take your data and not provide you with the information you wanted or the reward it offered.

Some of these scams aren’t carried out through visiting a webpage, but through downloading software. Some services even list the software under the wrong name, and you don’t end up realising that the file you’ve downloaded is malware until it is already on you device.

There are a large number of ways in which a person is able to communicate with you and try to convince you that what they’re providing is legitimate, but oftentimes, if it is too good to be true, it should be avoided.

How to Avoid Phishing Scams

With criminal minds creating new ways to try to take people’s information, it is best to read up on how to spot a phishing email and other messages so that you know what to look out for if an email seems suspicious.

One thing to keep in mind is that you should always take a look at the email address of the person who sent you the message. If the email address is strange, then it is more than likely a phishing scam.

Sometimes phishers use common names that may be similar to someone that you know, but when you look at their email you will soon realise that it is not one that you recognise. While phishing emails are capable of changing a name, they cannot hide the email address, which is important to help you spot them.

Preventing them from Popping Up

If you do receive an email that is the result of a phishing scam, report it and mark it as spam. Email providers often note when certain email addresses and sources are reported, and they will send similar emails to your spam folder in the future.