Phishing (from fishing), are the fake emails, websites or short messages aimed at obtaining sensitive data of an internet user or persuading them to perform a malicious action.
According to the FBI, phishing was the most common type of cybercrime in 2020 - and incidents nearly doubled in frequency, from 114,702 incidents in 2019 to 241,324 incidents in 2020. (Source)
What should you look out for to avoid falling victim to phishing? We have used PayPal as an example:
- Language: if a well-known company with which you already have an account suddenly writes to you in English instead of German, this can already be a first phishing sign.
- Impersonal: if the salutation is missing or your email is used for it.
- Grammatical errors: if the text looks as if it has been auto-translated. Other fonts may also be used. Typical signs are when the cybercriminals make the name visual with related letters or characters.
- Intrusiveness already in the subject of the email: and no, you don't have to open the email. If the email seems strange to you, please contact the company to their official email listed on their websites. Once you open the email, the cybercriminals will receive confirmation that your email address is working and will make further attempts to contact you.
- Prizes or free products/services: prizes in raffles that you have not participated in are more than strange!
- Attachments: if you have opened the e-mail and find an intrusive hint to open the attachment (ZIP file as invoice, reminder, etc.), ignore it. No invoice will be sent in such a file format. Because as soon as you activate the macros in the attachment, malware will be installed on your device.
- Links: you can safely ignore short links that you do not know which website you are being redirected to.
- Research: if the sender's email seems strange to you, simply Google it.
You can classify this type of emails as SPAM and delete it immediately.
Stay safe and alert.
ALPEIN Software Team