Despite having a firewall or the best antivirus protection available, there are emails you can receive which could end up costing you a lot of money. Although they will scan as safe because they do not have viruses attached to them, they can still potentially steal your identification. There are phishing scams sent through emails you should be aware of.

What Is Phishing?

Phishing is the practice of sending emails which look like they come from a reputable company or person in an attempt to get people to reveal personal information. The information they are “phishing” for is passwords as well as credit card or banking information. Unfortunately, many attempts are successful since the recipient doesn’t examine the email carefully or verify it with the company they think is sending it.

Recognising Phishing Attempts

The easiest way to avoid a phishing scam is to not open emails from senders you don’t recognise. If the email comes from someone you don’t know, delete it. If you do open it, don’t click the links in the email unless you check them first.

You can check links by hovering over them to read the URL in the hyperlink. If it seems odd, don’t let curiosity get the better of you and just delete the email, for clicking a link could invite malware or a virus into your computer system. Always carefully read emails you open, especially if they request personal information or account numbers.

Never Give Passwords

No matter who is asking for passwords, do not give them out. No legitimate company is going to ask for the password of your computer system, and if you do get an email which looks like it came from a company you do business with, carefully read the return address. The return URL will not be from the company you do business with, and will probably indicate the sender is from another country.

Something for Nothing

One of the most common phishing scams is from people claiming you’ve been given an inheritance from an anonymous benefactor. They will make it seem as if you’ve been given millions of pounds from a generous soul, that is, if you send them money first. This is not only an attempt to steal money, but also a way to get your personal information so they can steal your identity.

If you are selective and only open emails from senders you know and read up on how to spot a phishing email, you can avoid most phishing attempts. Remember, no matter who asks, do not give out your computer or mobile passwords. If you think someone has attempted to hack into your system by entering a password, change it and add alerts to the apps you use.

Some apps will have you double verify an attempt to sign into your account from another computer or device. They will send a verification code to your mobile for you to enter, but if the code isn’t entered, the app cannot be accessed. Taking these precautions will protect your identity and your money.