You’ve likely heard of them before. Phishing emails are fraudulent emails that can frequently land in your inbox and appear to be coming from legitimate and recognizable sources, such as your bank, your service provider, schools, institutions or other businesses. These phishing emails are aimed at coercing you to click on spoofed (forged) web sites through an impending threat or panic inducing situation, which would make you confirm through clicking their embedded links.
Phishing emails normally look like the real thing but there are tell-tale signs that they are not if you know what to look for. Their goal is to get you to enter your private information such as user ID, password, account information, credit card information. Phishing is a very real threat to your digital identity, but a threat that can be thwarted.
Avoiding Phishing Scams
One of the best ways to avoid identity threat online through your emails is to carefully look at a suspicious email and be sure not to click live links first. If you roll over the link with your mouse, you will be able to see that actual URL link without going there. Be selective and look carefully at a suspicious URL link to verify it is a valid site and not something that is just close.
Most of all, be suspicious of any email message that wants you to verify personal information, through a website link or by replying to the email message itself. If you believe the message, you can go to the real URL on your browser directly, instead of through the email. Remember, clicking on an email link is also trackable and verifies with the sending agent of your email address.
Here is an example of a “phishing” email below: