The SLAM Method For Verifying Emails - What You Need To Know
Email has become one of the most important means of communication today because of its ease of use and practicality. It can be used personally for personal correspondence that goes beyond messages and pictures while businesses can take full advantage of an email account so they could direct all queries to specific email addresses. Email has become so important that it has become one of the tools to validate oneself in some websites.
The importance of email has also given rise to the dangers associated with it. An email could be from someone important but it could also contain something dangerous and sinister. Among the most dangerous are emails used for phishing and as well as deploying dangerous viruses that could destroy computers.
Fortunately, there are relatively simple methods in preventing attacks related to emails. The word "SLAM" stands for a simple yet smart acronym that could help prevent email related viruses and attacks.
The SLAM Method For Verifying Emails
SLAM stands for Sender, Links, Attachment, Message - these four should be checked every time a message is received via email.
Sender - one of the most popular methods in duping people to think they received a legitimate message is by creating an email address that almost looks legit. For example, a person may receive an email from payppal.com telling them to update their profile online.
See the problem? At first glance, the email address looks good but after a quick check, the email actually came from a dubious website. Aside from changing the name a little bit, some dubious messages come from unknown email extensions meant to confuse the receiver. For example, paypal.cx may look good given that it's a legal domain extension but paypal will never use this type of extension because of their location.
Links - Phishing emails or emails meant to steal information from receivers often use links to extract information. These links often point to a website that collects information from unsuspecting receivers thinking the process they use is still legitimate since it came from their email. It's always important to think twice before clicking an email because these links might come from a familiar individual but the links originated from someone looking to steal personal and financial information. Links could also be used to launch a small software or even an app that might be used to snoop information.
Attachments - One of the most notorious online attacks that nearly crippled the early days of the internet is the ILOVEYOU bug. It spreads when the email recipient clicks on the attachment resulting in changes of file extensions on the computer as well as spreading to viruses by sending an email to everyone in the address book. In the early days of the internet, people were easily duped into clicking on the attachment which easily spread around the world.
This virus alone should be a stern warning to everyone who has an email account. Any email - no matter where it came from should never be trusted especially with dubious attachments. Even though most email servers today have built-in security that scans for malware, it's still important to make sure the message received is legitimate.
Message - As the internet security improves, so is the scam that persuades people into clicking on links and opening attachments. But there's always a tell for an email to be coming from a legitimate source or not - small things such as spelling, grammar and tone of email should provide clues on trusting the email received. More often than not, suspicious messages often come with links and attachments - an email pleading or asking to click on an unfamiliar link or open an attachment should not be entertained.
Mark As Spam / Alert The IT Department
If the email is suspected to be a phishing email, immediately mark it as spam to prevent it from showing up in the main inbox. Businesses who rely on emails as a reliable form of communication should also observe this practice since any type of attacks could cripple its operations.
It is also important for everyone to get in touch with the IT department once this type of email is received. The IT department could take a closer look at the email address and its source to prevent it from coming through again.