In light of all this talk about the Canada Anti-spam Legislation (CASL) and its grace period coming to an end last week, we’d like to share our top five tips on how to spot spam. As spam becomes more and more sophisticated in its ability to address you by your first name and disguise itself as senders in your address book, it is important to take these steps whenever an email looks unfamiliar in any way – not only when it looks outright suspicious!
1. ALWAYS look carefully at the sender of the email (not just the name, but the actual email address as well) – if the sender is unfamiliar or doesn’t match the sender name or body of the email, it’s probably spam. Don’t open the email or click any links within the body o f the email.
2. Stay alert when receiving or opening seemingly regular/normal emails – spammers often use email addresses similar to those you are familiar with, or change the information slightly to make it look valid. They often pose as financial institutions, postal services like UPS or FedEx, government agencies, etc. Don’t click any links if there is anything fishy or slightly off about the email (again, look at the sender’s email address!).
3. Cross-reference the sender/email body to information available on the web. Do a quick Google search of addresses, news, names and other identifying details of the email to make sure the facts line up.
4. Be aware of emails with very poor grammar or strange text. Many spammers are not trained in writing or email etiquette.
5. If you’re still unsure, try contacting the sender by phone to double check that the email is real.
Once you’ve identified the email as spam, most email systems have a “Junk” filter. When you see a suspicious email in your inbox, you can select “block sender” to have these emails sent directly to the Junk folder in the future.
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