Email has become a fundamental tool in our day to day. We are currently living in a transition to a 100% digital world. In our e-mail accounts we receive employment and personal information. The trend towards that digital age has meant that many paper letters that we received before, have been replaced by an email, including typical bills for electricity, gas or water. One of the reasons for this change has undoubtedly been for ecological and practical reasons. At this time we receive in our emails things as confidential as our invoices and bank information. Cybercriminals know that these types of accounts are important to us, and they try to make the most of it.
Therefore, you have to be vigilant when an email arrives with these matters that we are going to discuss below, because it can be dangerous. In case of not paying attention, we could suffer a Phishing attack, our computer can be infected with malware and more.
The moment a message arrives in our email inbox, we must be vigilant. Cybercriminals take advantage of them for financial gain. In this sense, you have to be vigilant because they can contain Phishing, spam, malware and more. Therefore, an email with these subjects, such as a sweepstakes or a prize, is sometimes used to capture the attention of victims.
The subject of an e-mail can give us clues not to open it
Every day we receive several emails in our main email account. Some can be seen with the naked eye that they are legitimate, and others are more difficult to distinguish if they really interest us. One way to begin to distinguish between whether or not it is convenient for us to open an email is by thoroughly studying its subject. Let’s start by putting ourselves in the place of the one who sent us that email. For that reason, I am going to enter my Gmail account and I am going to click on compose. Next, you will get a screen like this:
The first thing to do is put the email addresses to whom you want to send that message. Next, the next step that we are going to take is to write the subject that is the one that you have indicated in a red box. In this sense, the subject of an email can be defined as a brief descriptive summary of the subject that we are going to discuss. The way we write the subject says a lot about the person who writes it, and it can also give us details of what we should do with it.
Therefore, both when writing a subject and how to study it, you have to look at several things:
- The subject language, generally we will receive emails in a specific language, possibly Spanish. However, for business purposes they are sometimes received in English. Each user is handled using one or more languages, and when an email is received in an unusual language, you have to be more attentive.
- The way you write the subject also says a lot. If it is misspelled or difficult to understand, it is a bad sign. In this case, it may be a wrong translation done with a translator in order to mislead us.
In this way, when we go to write the subject of an email we must take it very seriously. The reason is that it says a lot about our personality, for example, if we are detailed and have the ability to synthesize to summarize the content in one line. On the other hand, the person who receives the mail with these matters must pay attention to avoid being the victim of a cybercriminal.
How to detect spam by subject and sender
Without a doubt, one of the problems that we face the most every day when using our mail is spam. This term refers to junk, unwanted or unsolicited mail that can end up filling our inbox with messages of this type. Usually, our email provider with its antispam filters manages to stop many. However, a few end up in our e-mail. In RedesZone, to avoid this we recommend using our email accounts for very specific things. In this sense, it should be used as little as possible to request information and write it in public places such as forums. An alternative to receive timely information is temporary emails.
Now we are going to see how to detect a spam message in our email. For this I am going to put an example taken from my Gmail account:
The subject in a language other than the one we usually use, is already a first clue that it may be spam. The next thing we would have to do is check the sender of the message. In this case we click on Helen and we will see that an e-mail appears from a user or company that we do not know. In this case, the best thing we can do when an email with these matters arrives is to mark it as spam and not even open it.
What is phishing and how to detect it
A Phishing attack aims to steal a user’s credentials and passwords. They usually come to us through social networks, SMS or email. Basically it is a link to a false web page, it appears to be legitimate and in it users have to enter their data. The problem is that this information goes to a server controlled by the attackers.
Thus, cybercriminals gain control of those accounts by obtaining the username and password. It should also be noted that it affects both mobile devices and desktop computers. In addition, it should be noted that they are increasingly using more sophisticated techniques using new tools and methods. For example, looking for more information about the victim or recently, attacks have also been seen at the business level posing as training courses to avoid Phishing.
Some ways to detect that it may be an attack of this type are:
- When they play with time and urgency, for users to perform a certain task or they could lose their account.
- The text is poorly written and contains spelling mistakes.
- Checking that the domain corresponds to the legitimate one. One technique they can use is to use shortened links. When in doubt, it is better not to use it and enter normally from the official website.
As for the best way to protect ourselves, it is to use a good antivirus and security tools, in addition to keeping our devices updated.
Beware of emails with these matters
Another thing that you have to pay close attention to is with the attachments in the executable emails. Thus, sending malicious attachments by e-mail is one of the most common methods of entry of malware onto our computers.
In that sense, we must not open or execute any attachment that we need or have requested ourselves. Also even if the sender is known and sends you something that you do not expect or does not fit you, it is better to verify it by other means. Sometimes, with phishing attacks, they take control of the account of an acquaintance and ask us for money or send us a file with malware.
We also have to be careful with an email with these subjects:
- When banks request data from you via email.
- Promotions with abnormally low prices.
- We have won a contest in which we have not participated.
- They tell us that we are the recipients of an inheritance of great economic value from a distant relative.
Therefore, we must be vigilant when receiving an email with these matters and worry about Phishing, malware and other threats that may affect our equipment. In this regard, a good way to protect our e-mail would be using multi-factor authentication.