Almost every day I become aware of dodgy emails that have gone to my Spam box. I would like to take the time to make you aware of the different types of hoaxes that are out there and remind you about email safety.
Cyber criminals often use phishing scams to try to obtain personal information such as your bank account numbers, or social security number. In a phishing scam, you receive an email that looks like it is a legitimate business.
Phishing is a hacker’s term that comes with the scams parallels with fishing, with the fake emails and web site acting as the “bait” and the victims;s accounts as the netted “Phish”..
It may even provide a link to a professional looking website, but it is actually a website that has been “Spoofed” or made to look like an authentic website related to the company mentioned in the malicious email, which only serves the purpose of collecting your personal information.
This information can be used to empty your personal bank account, run up your credit card bill, or even steal your identity. Always remember real businesses are aware of such schemes and will never ask for your personal information through an email. So when in doubt contact the business and yourself and ask. Most businesses appreciate knowing that a criminal is using their business for a scam and provide a way for you to report such misuse.
Also, malicious programs like viruses or worms often spread through files attached to emails, so never open an attachment that you are not expecting. The best response is to delete an email from an unknown sender. It could contain a program that could damage your computer or allow someone else to access your machine without you being aware of it.
Users are not always aware when their computer is sending infected emails. Therefore, even if the email appears to be from someone you know, it could be dangerous. When in doubt, contact the sender to confirm that they did not send you an attachment.
In short, never open an attachment you are unaware of, and never under any circumstances provide your personal information requested through an email.
Simon is a Sydney based digital designer. He is the Director of a boutique digital design studio, Bailey Street Design located in the vibrant inner west suburb of Newtown. Simon studied graphic design at Shillington College and specialises in web design for small and medium size businesses. Simon and his team (Toby the studio dog) are passionate about visual communication in the digital environment