Email Hacking

Learn all the tips and trick to avoid your email from being hacked!

July 24, 2019

7 Ways to Spot an Email Phishing Scam

Are you concerned about falling victim to an Email Phishing Scam? Read more to find out 7 ways to spot an Email Phishing Scam.

Email Phishing Scams

One of the most common tactics used by identity thieves is Phishing scams. Phishing scams not only affect individuals but large companies and organizations as well.

97% of all people who receive Phishing emails do not recognize the email as a scam and almost half of all people who receive Phishing emails fall for them.

Have you ever been a victim of a Phishing Email Scam? Are you worried about becoming one?

Read more below to find out what a Phishing Scam is, the types of Email Phishing Scams being used, and 7 ways to spot an Email Phishing Scam in your inbox.

 

What is an Email Phishing Scam?

Phishing occurs when a cybercriminal uses fraudulent tactics to obtain your personal information. 

They then use this information to commit fraud or even identity theft. These Phishing scams can come in the form of fake emails, fraudulent texts, copycat websites, and much more.

Hackers may also be using Phishing tactics to obtain access to your computer or internet network in order to install programs that will be harmful to you and your personal information.

Many people fall for Phishing email scams because the hacker creates a false sense of security or urgency in order to prey on their target.

 

Types of Email Phishing Scams

Email phishing scams come in a number of shapes and sizes. Some common phishing scams include:

Spear Phishing

During this Phishing tactic, the hacker targets specific individuals via email. In this approach, the hacker does extensive research on the person/organization they are targeting in order to make the scam more personalized and believable. Spear Phishing

Ransomware Phishing

During this attack, hackers use fake links, attachments, and “malvertising,” advertising containing scripts that download malware and unwanted content onto your computer. In this hack, cybercriminals will restrict access to personal information until a ransom is paid. This recently happened to the City of Baltimore. Read more about it on our blog!

Ransomware attacks

Link Manipulation

In this type of Phishing, the hacker will send include a link to a malicious website in the email. Once the link is clicked, the email’s receiver will be redirected to the hacker’s website instead of the website they thought they were going to.

malicious website links

Clone Phishing

Clone Phishing occurs when a hacker clones a previous piece of online communication to make it look identical. However, in this email, the hacker will attach malicious links or attachments in order to gain access to your information.

cloning emails

Whaling

This email Phishing tactic specifically targets senior executives in a company or high-profile employees within a business. This email will be personalized for their role and often includes documents such as subpoenas, legal content, or customer complaints.

whaling email scam

How to spot an Email Phishing Scam

Email Phishing scams may sound scary, but there are a number of precautions you can take to protect yourself. The biggest way to avoid falling for a phishing scam is to know the warning signs. Below are 7 ways to spot an email phishing scam tactic.

Emails from Unknown Senders

Before trusting any email you open, make sure that you recognize the sender. This isn’t always a perfect way of telling if the email has been faked or not, but this base check will act as a way to weave out potential Phishing emails. 

Even if you recognize the person name, confirm that the email address that the email is coming from belongs to them. Hackers will often spoof real emails or create emails that are similar to the real person’s email in order to get you to give up your personal information.

Bad Grammar and Typos

Any reputable company or business would not allow emails with bad grammar or spelling errors to go out. If there are numerous, jarring mistakes in the email, it is best to send it to your trash.

It is also important to be wary of how the email is addressed. Often times, emails using generic greetings such as “Dear Customer,” “Dear Member,” or they may use of your full email address such as “Dear JohnDoe@ABC.com

Asking for personal information

The main goal of any Phishing scam is to obtain your personal information. In Phishing emails, the hacker will often get you to input your information by requesting for you to “update” or “verify” the information for their system.

No company is going to ask for your personal information via email. If you receive an email asking for you to “verify” any login credentials, credit card numbers, bank account numbers, Social Security numbers, or other personal information, it is most likely a scam and should be deleted immediately. 

The use of urgency words or warning of an account threat

Hackers will take advantage of your anxiety about being hacked to gain access to your information. Emails containing urgency words or warning words like “Urgent Action Requested!” or “Your Account Has Been Closed!” are most likely scam emails

If you ever receive an email like this and you are suspicious, it is best to call the business that is emailing you in order to confirm the issue before you give out your personal information.

Unrecognized links or attachments

Often, hackers will include fraudulent links or attachments in a Phishing email in order to obtain your information. 

One tip to know to avoid clicking on potentially harmful things is to hover over the link to reveal the hyperlink. The hyperlink is the full website that the embedded link is leading you to. If the hyperlink looks shady, do not click it. 

Another helpful tip is to educate yourself on DNS, or Domain Name System. DNS structure is what you see within a website’s URL. Typically the structure will appear like this – Subtopic.Full Domain.com For example, docs.google.com is how a typical DNS will appear. A Phishing scam will likely have an unusual DNS structure with a malicious domain as the Full Domain name. 

Providing a specific reward

Some Phishing tactics involve the hacker claiming that you have won a prize such as money, a trip, or a car. If you click on the link in this email, you will oftentimes be asked to pay the shipping or processing fee in order to receive your prize. This is a way for the hacker to gain access to personal information such as credit/debit card numbers, full names, and billing addresses. Hackers will then use this information for their own gain.

If you have not entered any lotteries, sweepstakes, or prize drawings and get this type of email, delete it immediately.

Logos or Company Information is Incorrect

If an email is from a sender claiming to be from a legitimate company, make sure all logos and company information provided in the email is correct. The smallest detail, like the company’s logo colors, maybe off meaning that the email was spoofed.

Another warning sign is that the email is impersonal and has a generic signature that does not mention a real name. For example, if an email is signed “Amazon Team” or “Comcast Billing Department,” the email may be a Phishing scam.

 

Want more information on how to protect yourself and your email? Check out our previous blog all about 9 Steps to Protecting Your Email.

What would you like to learn about next? Leave your suggestions in the comments below!

February 19, 2019

9 Simple Steps to Protect Your Email From Being Hacked

Want to learn how to protect your email from being hacked? Here are 9 steps that will help protect your online security.

prevent email hacking

How do you know when your email is hacked? (Notice I say when, not if, unfortunately, this happens more than you could imagine.) Is it a message from one of your friends, co-workers or family members asking ‘Did you mean to send me this link or why and what’s the purpose of you sending me this link?’

Maybe you received a call thanking you, or approving your new membership, loan approval, credit increase, or credit card application? Maybe you received an email stating you WON 10 million dollars, all they need is your routing number!

How to protect your identity

Either way, the truth of the matter is you’re a victim of Identity Fraud. So what happens now? How can you protect your email from being hacked? Bottom line is yes, you can protect your email, whether you’ve been a victim or not! The scary part is this occurs more often than you could imagine. In 2018, Google plus was hacked not once but twice. This occurred in a time span of only 2 months. As we all know Google plus is linked to your Google inbox…it doesn’t take a genius to know where I’m going with this!

How do you know if you’re a victim of email hacking and email fraud? How do you protect your email from being hacked? Is it necessary to change your email address (by creating a whole new email) for each site, that has been hacked?  What happens after your email is breached?  How do you report email hacking? How can I avoid email hacking from occurring in the future? These are just a few questions probably running through your mind. The good news is I am here to save the day, the bad news is you can not thank me in person 🙂

Okay, let’s dive in!

In this article, we will discuss 9 things you can do to protect your email from being hacked and what to do after your email is hacked.

How to Protect your email from being breached.

How do I know if my email has been Hacked?

Well, let’s start by discussing the obvious:

  1. Unusual activity
  2. Passwords changed
  3. Unusual email alerts
  4. Someone contacts you stating you sent them information or a link (when you know you didn’t)
  5. Follow your instincts!

True story:

Many moons ago, I worked for a billion-dollar telecommunications company (I won’t mention any names but this shouldn’t be too hard to piece together).  This billion dollar company was hacked. Guess how? Knowing the title of this blog, this should come as no surprise. Shockingly, the hacker was able to breach this company via email. Yes, you read correctly.  According to ABC and many other sources, The Hackers took over the company’s web portal leaving cryptic messages. This hack left many individuals concerned, worried, and questioning how can this happen? The hackers were basically able to hack the companies domain. According to the company, no private information was compromised.

How do I protect my email from being hacked?

There are many steps and several online tools that can help you determine whether your accounts are secure. Platforms have created ways to try and prevent email breaches. Online Platforms such as Google, Facebook, Amazon, Instagram and many more offer you the capability of choosing two – way verification security methods. This extra step helps secure your email from fraudulent activity.

email hackers alert
Here are a few of the best tools and tips to check whether your email accounts have been hacked:

American Identity Group offers a FREE data breach scan. Using this scan, American Identity Group crawls the dark web then uses our Early Warning System as an alarm-style detection and warning system to detect any form of potential identity theft.

The scan alerts you in what breaches your email has been a part of. How do we know if you’ve been breached?

We scan numerous data files on the dark web daily, weekly, bi-weekly, and monthly our system works around the clock searching for any suspicious activity or changes to your accounts. American Identity Group mission is to protect YOU & your FAMILY by warning you of any potential identity thefts in progress.

learn how to prevent email hacking.

 

  1. Let’s begin with my favorite, The obvious -PROTECT Your Identity!  Sign up for AMERICAN IDENTITY GROUP $1.00 DOWN Plan.
  2. You can never go wrong with Two-way verifications.
    • Be sure to enable your Two-way verifications for all the platforms you use. This step is considered “extra protection for your email accounts.” A Two-Factor verification is an authentication process. The process requires users using the platforms to put a specific code that was sent to the account holders phone or email address. Do you have your 2-way verification on? If not here’s a brief explanation on how you can turn on the two-factor authentication for the following platforms:
      1. Yahoo, Google, and Outlook:
      2. Yahoo reviews this page at help.yahoo.com.
      3. Gmail, review this page at support.google.com
      4. Outlook.com mail, review this page at windows.microsoft.com. You can never go wrong with Two-way verifications.
  3. CREATE STRONG PASSWORDS:
    • When creating a password choose a “strong password” meaning, make the password difficult for hackers, by using passwords that mean nothing to you. For example. Your last 4 digits of your social security card. When creating your passwords use a mix of numbers, symbols, and both lower and upper case letters.
    • If you’re anything like me and forget your passwords then you should try LastPass This platform comes in two different stages – free or premium. This digital vault helps you store your passwords.
  4. DON’T FOLLOW THE LEADER!
    • Use different passwords for all email address and platforms in general. Think of it this way, Why in the world would you make it easy for a hacker to steal your information? Well news flash people, if you are using the same password for all your platforms, then once the hacker has uncovered one platform it’s all downhill from there.
  5. Who Are YOU RESPONDING To?
    • DO NOT respond to any unexpected email, SMS messages or websites that ask you for personal login credentials. If you didn’t request any new passwords or if you didn’t contact the company requesting the information, then ignore the email as it could be considered fraudulent email, contact the company and follow their next steps.
  6. Secure YOUR Devices!
    • DOWNLOAD Internet security (that includes anti-spyware), be sure to update the software as needed.
    • There are a ton of options for spyware platforms you can choose from. The best part is some are a few free ones!
  7. TRY to Be PRIVATE, Not PUBLIC.
    • Do not use Public WIFI. Public Wifi connections are unsecured internet access. Read more about public wifi here
  8. HTTPS, why you can’t, live without it?
    • Try to stay away from Internet browsers that do not contain HTTPS on the browser. Read more here, about the importance of HTTPS and how to keep your Identity protected.
  9. STALKING IS OKAY:
    • Regularly monitor your email accounts. When you find yourself with a few extra minutes of downtime log on, review your emails and all your email folders, if you see something that was not sent from you, or looks malicious, contact the platforms help desk or support center.
    • Or you can make life easier and have American Identity Group monitor your Identity for only $1.00!
Learn ways to protect your identity

 

Okay, so you read my blog a little to late, As your email has been hacked; don’t worry its not the end of the world, you can breathe now.

Email hacking and breaches are more common than you know, believe it or not, According to CNN, Google says hackers steal almost 250,000 web logins each week in 2017.

The sad part is we have all this information easily accessible online. Today, different tools and platforms make it easy to find information quickly. However, people are still falling as victims of Identity theft, and email hacking. Our goal at American Identity Group is to avoid you becoming a victim of any sort by securing your data.

 

There are a few steps we can take to get your email back and running and protect your email in the future from hackers.

Let’s start with the obvious! ACT FAST, at this point hackers are on the move, looking for their next victim. If you have been a victim of Identity theft and or your emails have been hacked try the following 5 steps:

  • Report identity (ID) theft to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) online at IdentityTheft.gov or by phone at 1-877-438-4338
  • Pay ONLY $1.00 for data, and identity protection from American Identity Group and receive real-time monitoring and alerts.
  • Change your passwords, with a STRONG password and Limit the apps that have access to your personal information.
  • Secure your platforms and devices, activate your 2-way authorization,  be sure to use your private wifi.
  • Check the forwarding address on your inbox and add the secondary forwarding address you would like that platform to use. Last, but not least, advise anyone who received an email from you that you were hacked.

 

Wallah! Just like magic – You’re done! By following these 9 steps, you can protect and improve the security of your email and reduced the risk of being hacked.

any questions about identity theft
Give us a ring at
1- 855- 200 6788
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Medicare Supplement Breach Alert!

MedicareSupplement.com has exposed the records of 5 million Americans 🔓

Call 855-717-4608 TODAY to see if your identity is AT RISK of being stolen!

 

American Identity Group

AT&T Breach Alert!

AT&T employees have planted malware on the company’s internal systems to unlock cell phones 📱

Illegal hardware was installed within the network to help hackers gain remote access and unlock millions of smartphones.

Call 855-717-4608 TODAY to see if your information is SAFE!

American Identity Group

State Farm Breach Alert!

STATE FARM has suffered from a Credential Stuffing data breach 🔓💰

A list of user IDs and passwords were obtained from the dark web in to attempt to access to STATE FARM online accounts.

If you have a STATE FARM account, your information may be in the WRONG hands!

Give us a CALL NOW at 855-717-4608 to find out.

American Identity Group

Capital One Data Breach Alert!

A hacker has gained access to the accounts of 100 million Capital One customers 🔓If you use Capital One, your information may be in the WRONG hands!

Find out if your Identity has been compromised!

CALL NOW at 855-717-4608 to find out.

verified by American Identity Group

Google Home Speaker Data Breach Alert!

Your GOOGLE HOME SPEAKER may be recording your conversations and leaking your information without your knowledge 📢

Google regularly records and listens to private conversations via the GOOGLE HOME SPEAKER when you aren’t using the speaker or asking it a question.

Give us a CALL NOW at 855-717-4608 to protect yourself today.

verified by American Identity Group