5 ways to spot dodgy emails BEFORE you open them

data-security

Many people get duped into opening an email containing a catchy or desperate subject line

However, THINK before you open ANY email

Here is a sample of some emails we received today and the reasons why we WILL NOT OPEN 99% of them

untrusted-email

Looking at an email listing like this is safe, because we are only previewing the senders details and the subject line …but once you open them you maybe exposing yourself to viruses by clicking on their links or attachments.

 




 

We will not trust the emails highlighted above in red and investigate those in green and yellow (without opening them)

1) FREE Email AddressesSpammers and Fraudsters normally use FREE email accounts such as yahoo, hotmail and more frequently google’s gmail but the more sophisticated ones will use legitimate domains (such as bigpond.com)

I realise that this is being a bit tough on a lot of legitimate business owners with bigpond addresses but if someone contacts me using a bigpond email or a free account and I believe they are probably genuine, I ask them to email me again from their company-domain so I can check them out using WHOIS.

If you receive an email with an email address ending in any of the following and you DON’T recognise the person it’s coming from then BE VERY WARY and if in doubt ….DELETE the mail rather than opening it.

Be VERY wary of email addresses from the following domains as they are all from FREE email accounts or accounts that be purchased or obtained with minimal security checks

@box.az @care2.com @consultant.com @corporation.net @engineer.com
@excite @execs.com @fastermail.com @gmail @hotmail
@inbox @latinmail.com @live.com @look.com @lycos
@mail.com @msn.com @myway.com @netscape @netzero
@ntlworld @ownway.net @rediffmail @rocketmail.com @safe-mail.com
@sify.com @walla.com @whipmail.com @yahoo @ymail

Investigating suspicious email addresses

You can investigate suspicious “domain” names (examples above include sgproperty22.com)

A quick test to see where this comes from is to open up a browser and add “www.” in from of the domain name and see it goes to a web page, if it is spam, it will not or will go to an unrelated page or mail gateway.

As you can see http://www.sgproperty22.com does not go to a valid page

www-sgproperty22

Further investigation can be made to find the owner of a domain name using a WHOIS lookup

The Australian Whois site can be found by clicking on here and entering the domain name. A list of registration details and names should be listed. Click on WHOIS Link and eneter the name of the suspicious domaain and you may find clues as to the true identity of the sender.

whois-sgproperty22

2) Examine the Subject line….. Anything unspecific or vague should be held in suspicion such as “Re:” “Hi” “What didn’t you call” “Why did you not reply” as should those with obvious spelling mistakes.

3) Domain Country identifier …… are you expecting any emails from India? Another giveaway is when a company uses a legitimate email address with a country identifier such as .in for India or .cn for China. If your not expecting any emails from these counties, be safe and don’t open the email.

4) DO NOT UNSUBSCRIBE from newsletters or unknown email lists. The majority of email newsletters and unsolicited emails DO NOT know you exist…. UNLESS you try and UNSUBSCRIBE from their newsletters. Their tactic is to mail millions of random email addresses and once you reply saying take me off this list or click on the unsubscribe button or link, they then know yours is a real e-mail address and they will sell that information onto other scammers. Simply mark the email as SPAM will ensure you don’t see them again and your email address is safe.

Need more help?

If you live in Western Australia, and you need any kind of computer help, please bring your computer to us at 315 Rokeby Road, Subiaco, Western Australia or call us out. You can contact us here or call:

08 6118 2601 
Alternatively click on the Green “Support” button in the bottom right hand corner of the screen and leave a message.Microsoft Silver Certified Partner - Small and Midmarket Cloud SolutionsFor instant remote control support download and install our TeamViewer remote control software By Clicking Here and following the instructions found on this page

Has one comment to “5 ways to spot dodgy emails BEFORE you open them”

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  1. Tony Small - October 1, 2013 Reply

    Nice post

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