It’s early in the morning, and you’ve just made a cup of coffee. You’re checking your email when you see one from PayPal, informing you there is an issue with your account and to ‘click here’ to verify your account. The email even features the official PayPal logo.
Because it’s early and your coffee hasn’t kicked in yet, you might think the email is legitimate and click the embedded link or attachment. And you might end up sorry if you did. If you’d taken a closer look, you’d have realized it was a phishing email.
Phishing emails are designed to look like legitimate messages from actual banks, businesses, and other organizations. In reality, though, criminals created the message, usually in an effort to steal your money, identity, or both. They want you to click links that will take you to a website that looks authentic but is really just there to capture your credit card or other personal information or perhaps to distribute malware.
Here are some ways to spot phishing emails, and what you can do to protect yourself.