What is spam?
Spam is an undesirable email. That is an unsolicited email. This type of email usually contains advertising. But it can also be a threat.
Here are the different types of spam:
1. Advertising spam:
It contains advertising that you have not solicited.
This is often a breach of trust. A service is requested by email in exchange for a reward. You may also be asked for money by promising you a reward well above your payment.
This type of fraud is very widespread. The principle is simple, a third party passes for example for your bank and asks you to fill in a certain amount of information. This is often confidential information that you should never give by email (credit card number, account number …). People behind this fraud can retrieve your information and use it against you.
How to recognize a spam?
In general, if you receive an email from an unknown sender this should catch your eye.
All e-mails containing unwanted advertising are considered spam.
If you receive e-mails from your bank, for example, you will never be asked to enter your bank details. If not, it is a phishing attempt.
This kind of spam is usually badly copied from the original, we often find several errors easily spotted (spelling, layout, link to a site that is not that of your bank …).
Finally, some spam contains attachments. For example, it may be an alleged unpaid bill. Never open an attachment from an unknown sender. Some attachments contain viruses that can encrypt all of your data.
How to protect yourself against it?
The best protection is you! By being vigilant about emails received from unknown senders.
When you receive an email that appears to be spam do not hesitate to report it. Most email providers (Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo …) have an option to do this.
There are also tools to filter the emails you receive. In this way, there are very few unwanted emails coming to you. Example: ZeroSpam.
Finally, a good antivirus that scans attachments can also be recommended.
Check out our previous blog post that deals with main computer threats.
Florent Julien, Helpdesk Coordinator