When our society created technology, it was only a matter of time before people learned to abuse it, by manipulating and scamming people for the benefit or entertainment of the scammer. Some scams might seem “harmless” on the outside, such as a simple hack into your Facebook account, or a virus that makes your computer unusable, however, when somebody with that kind of skill gains access to any private information, they can use that information to do terrible things. Whether they gain access to your banking information, steal your identity, or something else, you can be sure they will do whatever they can to benefit from the scam. Luckily, there are ways that you can protect yourself from these scams, and keep you and you private information safe on the internet.
What is Phishing?
Looking at the word “phishing”, you’re probably associating it with the common act of fishing. While the two are very different, they do share some similarities in concept. Just as fishing is the process of baiting fish to catch on a hook and reel in, phishing is an email scam that baits you into giving out private information that could give them access to important accounts.
A phishing email imitates the appearance of an email that may have been sent from a legitimate company, in which you already have some sort of connection. The email usually includes a request for sensitive information, such as your account details for the company in question, typically in the form of a link that would direct you to a site that looks just like the company’s, but is hosted on a server that belongs to the scammer. This means that any information you enter on that website would be sent directly to the scammer, giving them complete access to whatever information you submitted.
Protecting Yourself from Phishing Emails and Other Scams
When it comes down to it, the best way to protect yourself from these types of scams is to read up on how to spot a phishing email. Luckily, there are plenty of easy-to-remember steps you can follow to make sure any email you receive is legitimate and not something sent from a scammer to gain access to your private and sensitive information. For example, an easy way to make sure that the email is legitimate is to look carefully at the sender’s name or email address; typically, businesses will only use certain email addresses to contact their clients, so it might be helpful to have a list of those to compare new emails.
Overall, phishing emails are some of the most common forms of scams that are sent out to innocent people to gain access to their private information. With that said, it is also one of the easiest traps to avoid falling into, as the signs that show their illegitimacy are quite obvious, when you know what to look for. This is why learning more about these types of scams, and how to spot them in your inbox is so important.