Everyone knows you need to be aware of spam and to not click on suspicious links. But, do we really know why or what could happen? Here are the two major reasons to help you understand why you shouldn’t do this.
By interacting with a spam message in any capacity (clicking a link, replying, unsubscribing) it shows that your connection is live. The spammer is then able to see your interaction including when you open it, if you click a link and if you unsubscribe. As soon as they get this information they have the option to sell your information. Knowing your email is live will make it more profitable for the spammer to sell.
Not only will they know that your email is live, they will also be able to find your IP address. By knowing your IP address, they will be able to find personal information. This personal information includes your location, your name, your marital status and other information available through websites like ZabaSearch and Spokeo. With websites like Zillow, spammers can find out information regarding your home such as the value and history of it.
Spam email is usually sent with a link encouraging you to click. By clicking this link, you are opening up the possibility to have malware downloaded onto your computer. Avoid the curiosity of finding out what the website entails and delete the email instead. Even clicking the “unsubscribe” button has potential of downloading malware. The best rule of thumb is if you get an email that you don’t recognize, just delete it.
Malware may also be in the form of an email scam such as a lottery, survey or stating your bank account/ PayPal is going to close if you don’t act now. These are all common and can be confusing.
- If you get an email stating you won money through a lottery or contest, do a Google search on that lottery or contest. If you haven’t entered into any contests recently it is a scam.
- If you get an email with a link to a survey and it is not from a company you are familiar with, don’t click the link for the survey.
- If the email warns you one of your accounts is in trouble it is best to visit that account through direct login. Do not click the link in the email to get to the company website.
These are only a few possible ways malware may be hidden in emails however malware can take many different shapes. Educating yourself and those you care about is the best way to avoid the pains of malware.