How do you protect yourself from online scams? It doesn’t have to be tricky. We have 5 tips that will teach you to recognize phishing (fake emails) and malicious websites. The chance that you will be fooled by cyber criminals will be less likely. Promise!
1. Who is the sender?
Even when the name looks real, you cannot rely on the name alone. Anyone can adjust it as desired. More interesting is the email address used to send the message. Click or tap on the sender’s name. You will then see the email address. Does the domain name, the part after the “@”, match the official website? If not then the email is probably fake. For example:
Probably real: email@example.com
In addition to the name, it’s possible that the e-mail address has also been copied. No business will ask for you to login to your account out of the blue that alone should be odd, but if the email address seems to be off you can be pretty sure the email is a phishing email.
2. What is asked?
Criminals often try to find out all kinds of private information. Think of your username and password or the pin code of your bank card. An official body or company will never ask for these things. So don’t fall for it if it does happen. Through whatever channel.
3. Language use
Messages full of spelling mistakes, grammatical mistakes and crooked sentences are often not from reliable parties. But also pay attention to different languages than what you are used to. A scammer who pretends to be an acquaintance will quickly fall through the basket.
4. Where does the link go?
Did you receive a payment link or will you be redirected to the login page of a business? Check the link before you click on it. Hover your cursor over a link, but don’t click yet. You will then see a bubble with the internet address. Check that you are not seeing strange things. You could also paste the link in a Google transparency report, it will tell you if a website is safe or not. But again common sense is the best way to recognize a website. If you don’t know the sender, don’t open it.
5. Are you a customer or have you signed up for something?
Phishing messages increasingly consist of payment reminders, track ‘n’ trace links and promotions. Consider whether you are a customer. And have you registered for a giveaway at all? If not, something is probably wrong. Not sure? Then contact the organization or company yourself. Do not get rushed if something supposedly has to be done quickly. Never use the link or contact information in the message. Find the correct telephone number or e-mail address yourself.