Go Phish

I have to say I admire the creative licence taken by cyber criminals when it comes to the content and titles that are associated with phishing emails.

While SPAM and Phishing emails seem at best innocent, and at worst inconvenient, rest assured, their intent is far more sinister.

What lies beneath

Cyber criminals devote a lot of time and resources toward coming up with tools intended to relieve you of your personal and/or financial information.  The goal is to exploit that information for their financial gain.

Never ever open an email, click on a link or open an attachment from someone you don’t know.   Even if you do know them, and it looks odd, don’t open it.  Regardless, if you are a little wary, err on the side of caution.

If the Prince of Wherever truly has piles of money to offer you, as many phishing emails state, he’ll find alternate methods of communication.

How it works

Phishing emails generally try to direct you to a website or include a link to a website that looks very legitimate, which is why they have so much success.

They trick you into voluntarily divulging your information- while they make off with it like bandits.

These phishing emails also often have malware that study and trace your key strokes, which makes it easy for them to get access to your bank accounts and the like.

What you can do about it

As a general rule, never divulge your personal details online unless absolutely necessary.

Verify the validity of information. For instance, cyber criminals will often pose as your financial institution, lawyers or as a government office, all in attempts to seem legitimate. If you receive something fishy (pardon the pun) call your bank or other office directly. It is very rare that your bank or a government agency would contact you via email anyways.

It is well worth the money to invest in some anti-virus software, eliminating much of these problems before they even hit your inbox.