Verifying Email Senders – Life Hack(-free)
A lot of us take our emails for granted. Often, we read an email’s content without first verifying the sender. You might receive a hundred emails from your bank in a month, but one of those might be a spoof sent by a hacker.
It’s simple to verify a sender. Click the header of an email where the email address is located. Click on the email address of the sender. Their actual email address will display in a new window. Does that email address match the one you were expecting to see? Does the last part of the email after the @ sign reflect the company or brand they are claiming to represent?
If not, then mark that email as spam and move on to the next one. Do this for every single email in your inbox or you ever receive ever again. You may want to go back and verify emails you already replied to as well.
If you find that you have already replied or clicked a link in a fake email, forward it immediately to email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org where example is the name of the company being spoofed.
This is especially important for emails you receive from banks or businesses such as Walmart or amazon. They are spoofed every single day millions of times, and the odds that you or I have received one of these fake emails is 100%. That means it definitely happened and will happen again.
The best defense against this type of fraud, which is how identity thieves make a living, is to check the email address before you read the content, before you click a link, and before you show the images in the email. If you don’t already, prevent your phone from displaying images until you approve them individually in each email. Do the same for all your computer devices and tablets. Also, do not download content automatically.
The cost of not taking this preventive measure is far greater than the extra few seconds it takes to verify the sender. Just yesterday, I was scanning an email from a bank and was about to act on it, when I thought to myself, ‘wait, let me make sure this isn’t a fake email,’ and sure enough, the sender was some gmail address. Banks don’t use Gmail addresses to send you emails, or any other weird email address.
Every Single email
Always verify the sender, even if it’s from a personal contact, like a family member. You’d be surprised how often the email address that is actually sending the email message doesn’t match the name of the address that displays when you see the email in the list or open it and view it without verifying the address. The real email address of the sender is often hidden from us when viewing content, and that is something that might need to be changed.