The most common email traps and how to defend against them

In this blog post, we will share with you some of the most common email traps and how to defend against them. If you know these things, then you’re able to protect your account from being hacked or compromised.

Unfortunately, most people underestimate the importance of email, and email account security is one of the most basic requirements. Here’s why. If a fraudster can gain access to your email account, the primary problem is not that he can read your mail but that he can take control of all the online services linked to that account. When you request a new password on a platform, you have to confirm the request by email: if the fraudster has access to your mail, he has no problem with this extra step. The hacker will also change the password to access the email, so from now on, it will be a hassle, if not impossible, for us to report to each service provider that we are a victim of fraud.

The problems of Spam and Phishing

Fortunately, most spam is just annoying; it’s unsolicited mail, usually containing some advertisement. They are sent in bulk, so they are usually easy to spot by the generic form of address (e.g., “Dear Customer”) or by using the @ in front of the name in the email address. The content of a spam message can vary from Viagra, garden tools, discount Lego to versions where the scammers promise to transfer tremendous amounts of money if you pay a small amount in advance to cover administrative costs. In the past, spam was easy to spot because of grammatical errors and clumsy formatting, but nowadays, it is different, although emails can still be directed to the trash bin at a glance.

The most effective protection against spam is a spam filter – fortunately, most mailing applications have one, as well as service providers. In Thunderbird, for example, you need to tick the box in front of the Spam filter option in Tools | Mailbox settings to request automatic filtering for mail to that account. You can also set Thunderbird to move mail to a different folder or delete it outright. For Outlook, you can change the Spam – Spam settings menu filtering.

By default, spam filtering is turned off; the best compromise is to set the sensitivity to high. In this case, the program can filter out most spam, but it may catch some mail that is not otherwise a problem.

Outlook forwards suspicious messages to the Spam folder, so if there is a chance that a message is “lost”, this folder should be checked Spam filters typically learn, so depending on which messages are marked as junk and which are not, they will become more accurate (at least in theory) over time. However, it is essential to remember that there is no 100% protection, so even with the spam filter, you should be vigilant and treat any suspicious mail with due care.

Sophisticated tricks of targeted phishing

Spear phishing is the term used to describe a type of phishing attack in which information is gathered about the target person in advance to make the letter’s text perfectly believable. These letters are characterized by perfect editing error-free text, and they contain only information specific to the addressee. Given the effort required for this type of research, the targets are usually well-known people or company executives, but it is not uncommon for private individuals to be targeted; for example, a well-targeted fake letter with a fictional account can be sent using the name, address and telephone number.

So the basic thesis is that emails should always be handled with great care!