The Internet is a vast place full of information and full of knowledge. There is something interesting for everyone and it can never get boring. However, some people take their illegal and morally questionable activities online because of many different advantages. Crimes such as extortion, theft, and fraud can be easily done online and your identity can still remain private if you play your cards right.
That is why it’s important to stay safe and to take care of the sites you visit, emails your open, and software you download from the Internet.
A Phishing Scam Mimicking Microsoft’s Official Email Account
Phishing is a term that describes an unauthorized attempt of obtaining someone’s valuable information such as passwords, credit card information, and personal info by pretending to be trustworthy or by representing someone authorized. These attempts are quite often successful with users with little web knowledge.
In order to understand this scam, it needs to be said that Microsoft sends emails as soon as they spot suspicious activity regarding your account. The title of the email is the same and everything appears the same except the email of the sender. It’s usually quite easy to spot the difference between an official Microsoft mail and a scam.
The scam is usually sent from a phony email address and it looks just like the real thing.
How to Avoid This Scam
Scam emails are usually hard to avoid unless you use a powerful spam filter on your computer. There are certain steps of precaution you can take if you feel like your Microsoft account needs extra protection.
- Double Check Everything
Always look before you open any hyperlinks or attachments contained in your email no matter who is the sender. If you just look at the structure of the email, you won’t notice anything wrong. However, scammers can’t have access to the real Microsoft email account.
Remember, real Microsoft emails always have the green shield next to the sender!
- Use Antivirus Programs
Usually, most antivirus programs provide the option of protecting your email safety. Simply activate these shields and chances are that you won’t need to deal with spam ever again. Apart from registering certain emails as spam automatically, firewalls and virus protection can block anything from downloading or connecting to your computer.
- Use Two-Step Verification
Two-step verification makes it harder for scammers to hack into your Microsoft account because they will need to know your password AND your security info. This way, you will have to authenticate all of your new devices that need to sign in and a hacker’s device won’t be trusted.
In order to turn it on, visit: Security basics >> Sign in >> more security options >> Two-step verification >> Set up two-step verification >> Follow the on-screen instructions.
- Block the Sender from Sending New Emails
In order to stop receiving emails from this address, click Settings >> Options >> Safe and blocked senders >> Blocked senders and add the address you got the email from.
Additionally, you can report this email to Microsoft. Open the email and select Junk on the menu on the top of the page. Click Phishing Scam in order to send this report to Microsoft to take into consideration.