Your inbox often becomes so full of junk mail that it’s easy to become confused about what is dangerous and what is not. Which emails are useful? Which emails are legitimate? Which emails should you absolutely not open under any circumstances? Here is a quick summary of the different types of spam email and how to spot them:
- Advertising. You might sign up for advertising from brands that you know and like, which is perfectly legitimate. However, a number of other adverts might come through for all kinds of bizarre products. If it’s not something you recognise, don’t open it.
- Documents containing viruses. If you open the attachments with emails of this kind, you risk installing malware onto your computer. These can often look very convincing and it could be easy to mistake them for a real document. The safest thing to do is to not open documents which you aren’t expecting from unknown senders.
- Scams or phishing emails. These are people using false identities to try and scam you out of money. They might be posing as an individual or a company. Never send money to an unknown individual, even if they say it is for a good cause. Emails from fake companies can often look quite realistic, however they will usually give themselves away by asking for credit card details or payments. If you’re ever unsure, call the company and ask them directly. Use a number from their website or from a letter to you rather than one from the suspicious email, or you may just be ringing the fake company directly.