Information Technology

How to Avoid Spear Phishing Emails in your Email Inbox

What is Spear Phishing?

Spear phishing is a type of phishing attack in which a scammer sends an email, purportedly from a trusted source, to a victim in order to induce the victim to reveal sensitive information such as login credentials.

A spear phishing attack is when someone sends an email that’s designed to look like it’s from someone else. This can be done to gain access to personal information or money.

The spear phishing attacks have been on the rise and have become more sophisticated with time. Cybercriminals are now able to create fake websites that lure unsuspecting people into giving up their personal data and passwords.

How Spear Phishing Targets Are Chosen

Spear phishing is an attempt to steal sensitive information such as passwords, credit card numbers, and other confidential details by sending a message that appears to be from a reputable person or an organization the recipient trusts.

In order to successfully spear phish potential targets, attackers must first identify the target. They do this by finding out who their target is in relation to their email address. For example, if their target was the CEO of a company and they have an email address of [email protected] then they would know that they should send a message to that person.

The most common way for attackers to find out who their target is in relation to their email address is through data mining techniques such as social engineering or honeypots.

Why these Emails are so Cleverly Isolated and Targeted

personalized emails are the most effective way to increase engagement and conversions.

A recent study by Hubspot found that personalized emails were more than twice as likely to be opened and read.

The content of the email is also important since it can help the reader make a decision on whether or not they should purchase your product.

How to Spot a Spear Phish if you Receive One

Spear phishing is a type of social engineering attack where the perpetrator sends out an email or text message with the intention of tricking the recipient into revealing confidential information.

This is a brief guide to help you spot a spear phish if you receive one.

  • The email or text message has spelling and grammar errors
  • The email or text message doesn’t have an obvious subject line and may be generic
  • The email or text message doesn’t include your name, title, and company name
  • There are no attachments in the email
  • There are no links in the email
  • The email or text message mentions a suspicious subject
  • The email or text message contains an offer for a free trial, discount, gift card, or other introductory offer
  • The email or text message requests user information to enter into a contest
  • The email or text message prompts you to enter personal information
  • You’re requested to download software

How to Protect Yourself from Spear Phishes

Spear Phishing is a type of fraud in which the attacker sends an email that appears to be from a reputable source, such as your bank or a company you do business with, to trick you into revealing confidential information.

  • Here are some ways to avoid being targeted by spear phish:
  • Don’t open emails from people or companies you don’t know.
  • Don’t click on links in emails that ask for personal information.
  • Always check the sender’s email address before you open an email from them.
  • If you receive an email asking for personal information, send it back with “I’m sorry but I cannot provide this information.”
  • Use different passwords for different websites and accounts.
  • Keep your computer and devices up to date with patches and updates.

What Questions Should You Ask Yourself After Receiving an Email from a Stranger?

  • What is the purpose of this email?
  • Is this person asking for something in return for their message?
  • What is their background?
  • How do I know this person isn’t trying to sell me something or scam me?

What Are the Most Effective Ways to Spot If a Website is Potentially Leaching Your Passwords?

There are a lot of websites that may be potentially leaching your passwords. There are a few ways to detect the potential leachers.

The most effective way to prevent website hacking is by using a password manager. It will help you generate, store and use strong passwords for all your online accounts.

If you have any doubt about the safety of any website, it is recommended that you use an ad blocker or download an extension for your browser to remove ads from the site.

CXO's Journal

I'm a self-taught hacker, I do a little bit of everything: hacking (security), cryptography, Linux system administration, networking/routing and virtualization/hardware/software development. I'm a freelance IT Support Advisor, providing IT support to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
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