Email is one of the most widely-used digital communication platforms with billions of emails being sent every single day. Emails are used for personal and business communications alike; it is even considered as one of the most effective digital marketing tools. Emails, however, are also utilized for criminal activities. Such criminals often create fake email addresses for phishing scams and other cyber attacks.
Spot A Fake Email Address; Avoid Compromising Your Security
A fake email address can be an invalid email address that can not be reached or an email address specifically set-up to send phishing emails and spam or use for various cyber attacks.
To maintain your email security and privacy, when you receive emails, always double-check the email address. Make this a habit especially when the email pertains to sensitive information like credit card or bank information and/or transactions. A simple double-check of the sender’s email address could save you from trouble.
Here are a few ways to verify an email address.
Ping An Email Address
You can use a tool to ping an email address to check if it is valid. This is rather technical and time-consuming but a great way to check if an email address is fake. You can send an email to the email address you’re checking and watch as the server responds – you will either get an “OK” or a 505 error message.
Set-Up A Disposable Email Address
An easy and free way to verify an is by creating a temporary email address using a free email service and sending emails to the suspicious email address. If the email bounces, then it’s fake. This strategy, while easy and convenient, is less accurate than other strategies.
Opt For An Email Verification Software
An email verification software is a more accurate way to identify and eliminate fake email addresses – from Syntax Errors, MX Errors, Disposable Emails, Domain Validation, and more. It does cost money but it does a thorough job in protecting your privacy and providing email security.
Detect Fake Emails; Avoid Cyber Attacks
As easy as it is to create fake email addresses, fake emails are often utilized as vehicles for malware, scams, and other attacks. In addition to checking the email address to ensure its authenticity, always check the email header. A visible signed-by field means the email was SPF-authenticated; a visible signed-by field means the email was DKIM-signed; major companies and banks usually encrypt their emails.
Here are some tell-tale signs that you have just received a fake email.
- A poorly composed email with misspellings and grammatical errors is a sure sign that it’s from a fake email address.
- Beware of nosy requests especially for personal information and sensitive data like PINs and SSNs.
- Links and attachments from unsolicited or suspicious emails must be treated with caution. You can hover your mouse over the link for a preview of the URL and see if it matches a legitimate site. You may also opt to simply open the website on your browser instead of clicking on a link.
It always pays to be careful when it comes to your privacy and security: from giving out your phone number and other personal information to data shared through text messages or emails. Don’t allow yourself to be a victim of fake email addresses, phishing emails, and other online scams. Don’t engage with suspicious emails and block email addresses if you deem it necessary.