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The Evil Of Email Spoofing And How To Protect Yourself

What is Email Spoofing?

First things first, what is email spoofing? It is when the header of email is forged. It is done to make the email appear from a legitimate. The tactic is used to garner sensitive information and data from internet users. If past records are to be believed, users are likely to open an email which is authentic and seems to be from a credible sender.

That’s how hackers uses email spoofing to their advantage and rob users of their financial and sensitive information. By large, spoof emails are either marked for deletion or are thrown into spam folder. But where the user is lured into opening that email, that is where the troubles start.

Most of these emails contain a link which upon clicking installs malware into the user’s system. So before we tell you how you can protect yourself against email spoofing, let’s find out a little something about phishing.

What is Email Spoofing and Phishing?

Email spoofing and the element of phishing goes hand in glove, usually. If email spoofing is masking the actual source of email origination, phishing is the art of appearing as a legitimate person or a reputable entity so to make users believe in the credibility of that email.

A common practice by cybercriminals and is mainly carried out via social networking channels such direct messages on social media, SMSs, in addition to emails. Social engineering is perhaps the biggest tool of phishers. Making sites and social channels appear as real as possible so the users tend to drop their guard and buy in to whatever is being offered. Often these offers are disguised as being helpful.

While the user is falling for it, the hacker is conducting a background check in to the user’s work and personal history, interests as well as activities. The practice is mainly psychological aimed at playing with human mind and emotions.

What is An Example of Spoofing?

An example of email spoofing could that be of an email with a link to a large e-commerce or a shopping website. Once there, it asks for user’s password or credit card information. In organizations, the practice varies compared to when it is simply targeted at an individual. You get an email from a make-believe CEO or CFO of a company who deals with foreign suppliers and ask for a wire transfer to a different payment location.

Can You Stop Email Spoofing?

Email spoofing becomes possible due to the limitation of Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) in not identifying address authentication. There are means to prevent this from happening which is why email address authentication protocols are in place. However, it’s adoption or implementation has been quite slow thereby paving way for email spoofing and the likes thereof.

Furthermore, email spoofing can be stopped if sheer vigilance is practice when surfing the internet. Staying vigilant compares to nothing. Anything appearing to be fishy should be steered clear off. Secondly, you can use a decent VPN service for masking your real IP address. If your IP is hidden, cybercriminals will not be able to keep track of your online identity and hence, won’t be able to spoof you with their emails etc.

You can also stop email spoofing by keeping your anti malware program up-to-date. Calling into confirm from the said sender instead of replying over the email in question especially when sharing private or financial information.

Can Someone Send Emails from My Account?

Yes. That is what spammers are skilled at. This is called “From:” spoofing as spammer forge this field. They try their hands at any or all email addresses which they can find. This done by various means through a botnet, online harvesting and by scanning address books of infected machines.

These are then used in “From:” field and little do the receiver know, a trap has been laid. So be smart and bank on a complete cybersecurity suite to safeguard your interests online and bid farewell to dangers lurking over the internet.