Phishing and Pharming
Two types of email scams out there to be watchful for are Phishing and Pharming.
You have likely heard of Phishing but what about Pharming? I will explain both to give you a clear picture of that both are and what you can do to keep from becoming a Pharmed Phish.
Lets start out with Phishing.
Generally a phishing email is designed to get the recipient to take an action. The email is crafted to scare or bait the recipient into clicking a link contained in the email. The link can lead you to a malicious website or even immediately begin downloading a malware package. The links are usually disguised or spoofed to make you think you will be heading to a familiar and safe website.
Pharming can be much the same.
Your email may have been scraped from a website of social media platform. The email is then sent out with the same intent of getting you to click a link or sometimes even opening the email can be enough. The link characteristics are much the same as in phishing – spoofed! The links can also have the same dangerous actions associated with them.
What can you do?
I suggest that you always have a preview pane to that the email does not actually open. This can protect you a little bit. Also set your email program to never automatically download pictures. You can set the trusted email senders individually to automatically show the images.
It is probably a good idea to initially view all emails as plain text and not as html. It is likely a safer way to get your emails and it will also speed up email retrieval.
As you probably got from the above you do not have to actually opt in to get on someones email list. As is the case with most criminal activity, the phishers and pharmers and scammers do not care about the laws. Your email can be scraped and bought and sold without your consent or knowledge. Legitimate companies do follow the rules and laws and will not randomly scrape emails from the web and try to scam you.
If you receive unsolicited emails it is safer to just mark them as junk and block them than it is to attempt to unsubscribe.
Learn how you can teach your employees to avoid phishing and other scams. This not only helps protect your company but your employee and their family as well from possible scams that can lead to Identity Theft or serious security breaches. Contact us HERE