Published on June 8th, 2022 | by Bibhuranjan


How To Identify A Malicious Email And Protect Yourself From Spam

Ever since the internet became mainstream in the 1990s, emails have been the most common form of communication and still remain so. Naturally, this also makes emails the perfect medium for virus and malware attacks.

Hackers take this medium a step further and try to gain remote access to your device using malicious emails. This means that you need to learn how to identify malicious emails to keep your device and personal information safe. Here are six ways to spot malicious emails in your inbox.

Surefire Ways to Spot a Malicious Email

Malicious emails come with certain characteristics that can make them easier to spot for the average internet user. Here are the things you should keep in mind when going through your emails.

Incorrect or Misspelled Email Address

The most common giveaway that an email is a malicious email is incorrect or misspelled email addresses. Hackers often use automated email generators when creating fake email accounts for their cyberattacks, commonly known as email spoofing. Hackers often depend on their victims being absentminded or in a rush not to notice these spelling errors in email addresses. By keeping a keen eye on the email addresses when opening them, you can easily spot malicious emails more often than not.

Spelling and Grammatical Errors

Like the email addresses, the email bodies of malicious emails often contain lots of spelling and grammatical errors. Though this might seem like an obvious giveaway, hackers commonly use this filtering process to find the most obvious targets.

Anyone opening the attached links to the email despite this dead giveaway is the ideal target for them, but this only applies to the most basic types of email scams like the famous ‘Nigerian Prince’ fraud that was common a decade back. More serious hackers will keep their bases covered by copy-pasting professional templates.

Too Good to Be True Offers

If the email address and the email body check out, then you need to keep an eye on what the email is offering. If an email makes offers that are too good to be true, like an investment opportunity in an up-and-coming NFT project, then the chances are high that it’s a malicious email whose attachments are better left untouched.

Other common ‘too-good-to-be-true’ offers include stock investment offers, crypto offers, lottery winning announcements, and more. Just block such emails when you get them, but if you still feel compelled by the content of the email, at least do some research to make sure everything checks out.

Sender Uses a Public Email Domain

Spoofed email addresses often have a public domain at the end of the address, which is a dead giveaway. Getting a legitimate private domain involves paying a domain fee that most hackers are unwilling to invest in. This is why legitimate organizations can easily discern if you can identify a public domain in the email address.

If the email has a private domain address, then you can at least be confident of any attachments provided with the email. Still, even then, the sender might unintentionally send malware or virus-infected attachments unknowingly if their device is already infected.

Contains Infected Attachments or Dodgy Links

One thing that is common in almost all malicious emails is the fact that all of them encourage you to click and open the link attachment provided with the email. These attachments often slow down your device when downloaded.

If you find yourself asking why my laptop is very slow and hanging, then this might be the reason. To check if a link is infected or not, you can use any of the free online tools to find the link’s status. Some of these services include Norton Safe Web, Google Transparency Record, and PhishTank.

Attempts to Create a Sense of Urgency, Threat, or Warning

Any email you receive that attempts to create a sense of urgency, threat, or warning should be viewed suspiciously. Some of the topics hackers commonly use are fake invoices for non-existent payments, delayed payments, and more to scare you into opening the link attached to the email or providing your private information.

Learning the Ropes Properly

Malicious emails are a cyber threat that everyone with internet access is susceptible to. So to ensure that your device and personal information are well protected, you should learn how to identify malicious emails properly. That way, you can save yourself from a lot of unwanted trouble down the line.

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Editorial Officer, I'm an avid tech enthusiast at heart. I like to mug up on new and exciting developments on science and tech and have a deep love for PC gaming. Other hobbies include writing blog posts, music and DIY projects.

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