Spam, Phishing & Marketing Mail

This article covers some of the basics of what you should or should never do when you receive an email. The most important thing to remember is that no supplier should ever request any passwords or confidential information from you via email.

Spam, Phishing & Marketing Mail
Spam, Phishing & Marketing Mail

What is Spam (Junk) Email?

Spam emails are emails sent without explicit consent from the recipient, "That's You". Spam emails come in various forms, from trying to sell questionable goods, clicking on a malicious link, or tricking you into disclosing confidential information, known as Phishing.

Below are a few of the most common forms of spam and phishing emails, as well as some best practice tips to help keep you out of hot water. Knowing what to look out for can help you or your employers make the right choice and save you or your business from potential loss of money and reputation.

For example, in many cases, it is better NOT to unsubscribe from an email with an unsubscribe link. If it is a malicious email, clicking the unsubscribe link will direct you to a malicious website.

Never reply if you can see it is spam. An out of office reply will do the same. So, if you can, rather forward or have a colleague monitor your mails.

Below is the spam collected from Cisco's Talos Intelligence for October 2021. A staggering 94.02 billion spam emails per day and only about 20% of emails sent globally were legitimate.

October 2021 Spam Email Statistics

Below is an image we stole from phishing.org that highlights the red flags that you can look out for. We recommend you check out their "How Phish-Prone Are You Test". If you are a business owner or in charge of IT, give your employees a go with their simulated phishing test.

How to spot a Phishing email

When to Spam

Any marketing email that you receive that came from a sender that you do not know, usually trying to sell you something or click on a link is a spam email. You can safely right click and mark it as junk. Free email services such as Gmail and Hotmail will always be abused. If you are not sure, delete the email. If it continues, block it.

Example

  1. I don't know a David Moore.
  2. The address is (Leo).
  3. My name is not Recipients.
  4. Re: Reply? I didn't send anything to anyone at that domain.
  5. Good Day (.)? First I am (Recipient), then (.), I thought I was Mike.

When to Block

If you are being harassed, threatened, or just do not want to speak to a specific sender, you can block them, and you will not receive any more emails from them whatsoever. A good example would be your ex-boyfriend, who doesn't get the message.

A classic! Because if you have been naughty, you wouldn't want the world to see you at "your prime". However, it is rather unlikely that this chap possesses the skills to pull off this type of exploit, outsmarted your Antivirus Software and after so much effort, hasn't mastered spell-check. If he had all this "footage", he would have sent you something to prove it. You can block this, but if you still feel a bit paranoid, simply run a full antivirus scan.

An annoying company that you mistakenly gave your email address to that is trying to sell you something you don't need or want. You have made it perfectly clear that you don't want their services but they continue sending you emails. Block them.

When to Unsubscribe

An unsubscribe link at the bottom of a marketing email is a requirement when sending bulk emails. However, spammers will try and trick you into clicking these links by sending fake marketing emails with an unsubscribe link that will lead you to a dangerous website. Although these are quite dangerous, they are generally quite easy to spot, however, some can be quite convincing, so, if you are not sure rather just delete the email.

Example

  1. I am Mike Wilson & that is my email address.
  2. I did subscribe to both of the below companies.
  3. The sender address is correct.
  4. They are well-known brands.
  5. The spelling and grammar is perfect.

If you feel uncomfortable, you can mark it as junk or just delete the email. If it is becoming a nuisance, let us know. We will check it out and advise you on what to do.

When to report

If you receive an offensive or abusive email, please report this to us as soon as possible. We will take the necessary actions, block the email globally as well as send some of our "heavies" to teach them some manners.