With all of the spam email being delivered, here are a few tips that will help you decide if the email you’ve just received are spam.
The To: field has email addresses in it that are obviously fake (you may be bcc’d on it)
The To: field has multiple email addresses in it that are in alphabetical order, many of which you have no clue who they belong to.
Look at the time of day the email was sent. If it was sent at 2:00 in the morning and you know the person in the From: field most likely wasn’t up at that time, question it.
If the time sent on the email is several hours later than the time at your location, chances are it was sent from a server out of country. Question it.
The attachments are either a .ZIP file or a .EXE file. There are legitimate reasons for someone to send a ZIP file but very few people do that any more. Always question it.
There is a link in the body of the email and the text in the email is asking you to click that link to “verify” some information. TIP – Hover your mouse cursor over the link without clicking. Most of the time a text balloon opens showing the actual site the link will take you to. Compare it to what the link in the email is. If it’s different, even a little bit, don’t click. If you’re suspicious, don’t click.
If something needs to be verified, don’t do it by clicking on a link. Open your browser and go the website itself and login and verify information. Most companies won’t ask you to verify anything via email. They may notify you and then tell you to login to your account but won’t have you click a link.
If you want to check to see if the email you received with an attachment is a virus, forward it to virustotal.
The sending process is as follows:
Create a new message, or forward the suspicious email to email@example.com as the destination address.
Attach the file to be scanned. Such file must not exceed 32MB in size. If the attached file is larger, the system will reject it automatically.
If you completed these steps correctly, you will receive an email with the file scan report. The response time will vary depending on the load of the system at the moment in which the file was sent.
Don’t reply back to sender asking if it’s okay to open the email. Chances are it didn’t come from who is in the From: field. Don’t reply back asking the sender to stop sending you things. If there is an “unsubscribe” link at the bottom of the email, don’t. All of these things tell the spammer that they’ve reached a live email address and you’ll be put on more spam lists and receive more spam.
Don’t EVER just click or open without questioning. Even if you’re expecting an email with an attachment, take your time to look at the email first for clues.