We want to talk to you about spam email.
Spam emails are unsolicited messages from people or businesses offering their services. They’re junk and they clog up your inbox. You probably receive one spam email every day, if not more often.
Spam emails are annoying, aren’t they? Unfortunately, sometimes they’re more than just annoying. They’re dangerous – for you and your business. Everyday, our inboxes are being infiltrated by spam emails with the intent to harm us. Oftentimes, the nuisance spam emails we receive are scams or fraudulent, and they’re relatively easy to spot if you’ve got a keen eye. We’re talking about the emails from ‘a distant relative needing money’ or emails stating you’ve ‘won the lottery’ even though you never bought a ticket.
The most infamous scam email is probably the ‘Nigerian Prince email’, which offers a vast sum of money in return for a fairly small up-front payment. This type of scam is called an ‘advanced fee’ scam. Sadly, this scam still tricks people into giving away their hard-earned cash to this day. We should note that a lot of these scam emails from foreign princes, lotteries or distant relatives are traced back to cyber criminals from the USA and UK, not the country they purport to be from.
The other type of spam that clutters are inboxes have a threat that is potentially far more damaging for individuals and businesses. Cyber-attacks.
These malicious emails entice the victim to click on a link, download something, or take another action that will allow the cyber-criminals to do a lot of harm. You may have heard these emails referred to as ‘phishing’. Phishing is a cybercrime in which criminals pose as legitimate organisations, emailing unsuspecting victims in an attempt to solicit their personal data, such as ID, bank details, or passwords.
Luckily, spam emails are typically quite easy to spot. They tend to come from weird, illegitimate email addresses and they tend to have lots of spelling mistakes and errors in them. However, some cyber criminals are becoming quite clever and creative in their attempts to scam people and can disguise their emails to make them appear legitimate. As criminals get smarter with their phishing attempts, the risk to you grows.
Other times, cyber criminals use scare tactics in their emails. For example, ‘you owe lots of money and we’re here to collect it now else you’ll go to jail forever’ or ‘we have compromising information about you and we’re going to expose you to all your friends and family’ type of emails. Those emails can be terrifying to receive, especially for the more vulnerable in our society like the elderly. In the moment, it’s easy to think it’s a real threat.
It is said that almost 85% of all emails sent are spam, though not all of it is harmful. Typically, only 2.5% of spam email are scams or fraud, and a lot of those emails are phishing attempts (73%). Despite that, spam emails cost businesses billions every single year. For more information on cybercrime statistics, threats and solutions, please read our cyber-crime e-book here.
So, these emails can steal our money, our data, and other sensitive, personal information – like passwords. If an employee clicks on a spam email that has malware in it, it could compromise the entire business’s systems. Needless to say, this could cause great damage for the individual, the business, and can put client’s private data at risk.
To summarise, spam emails are bad. They’re annoying. They reduce productivity. They can be dangerous. They’re becoming increasingly hard to spot. So, what are the solutions?
Most email providers already offer a basic spam filter. But when we say they’re basic, we mean they’re basic. In fact, half the time legitimate emails from colleagues, family and friends get shoved into the funk folder whereas all the real spam emails end up in your inbox. If you’re getting spam emails in your inbox, the first thing to do is mark it as spam. This tells your email provider (whether it’s Gmail, yahoo, or Microsoft outlook, or any other provider) that it’s spam. This helps train the basic spam filter.
This solution is fine at an individual level, but businesses use emails as one of their main forms of communication. If you run a business, you do not want to rely on a basic spam filter. Your business data could be at risk. You need better email protection.
At BCNS, we provide IT solutions that protect you and your organisation. This includes email filtering and email encryption. We provide a smart email filter that prevents your inbox from getting bogged down with spam, viruses, and scams. This means less distractions in the workplace, and a lot more security for you and your business.
If you are exchanging lots of emails that contain sensitive business and personal information, then email encryption is a must. You don’t want your emails to fall into the wrong hands. Our system encrypts your data so that it is safer whilst it is being transmitted. This solution means that when you send an email, only the intended recipients will see it.
We also provide other cybersecurity solutions and IT solutions that raise productivity and increase efficiency, whether you’re in the workplace or working from home. Be sure to check them out.