What is the difference between Spam and Phishing?
Spam is an unsolicited email, usually from someone trying to sell you something. Spammers generally do not try to acquire sensitive information, where as Phishing, much like “fishing” sets bait and hooks you to give out your personal information, by looking like the email has come from a known source.
The bad news is: there is almost nothing you can do. Spam comes in many forms and eventually, getting emails from an address that looks like your own (referred to as “spoofing” or “From-spoofing”) will happen, if it has not already. The “from” address in spamming is meaningless and just requires more analysis of what the data’s source is.
What can I do? There is little you can do to prevent From-Spoofing. You will realize that because you did not send this email to yourself, the info it contains is not accurate. So, continue to run your Spam filter, and when you see this email from yourself, report to your helpdesk so they can determine the origin and blacklist it.
How to Spot Phishing:
Phishing takes users to pages that look very similar to that of their financial institution or other site where you must input your personal credentials. The email may come from a source that looks like one you trust. It will ask you to click a link and will take you to a site that looks like the one you are used to. Phishing is also present in social media’s built in messaging systems. You may receive urgent messages from a friend in need.
Look at the URL- Phishing often will add additional information to the web address. Watch for extra words attached to the site name you are used to. For example, instead of www.yourbank.ca a phishing URL may be www.yourbank1.ca
Too Good to be True- If a link seems too good to be true, it probably is. If your bank tells you they made an error and owe you a deposit, you just need to log in? It’s probably phishnig. On the other hand, if the bank has told you they’ve made a mistake and have credited you too much? Again, this is phishing.