I just received the most beautifully crafted phishing message in my YahooMail and it blew me away.

According to Wikipedia, phishing is the attempt to obtain sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details (and, indirectly, money), often for malicious reasons, by disguising as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication.

I have had this message in my Yahoo Mail for some days now and one look at the subject, my heart skipped!I couldn’t afford to lose my beautiful Yahoo Mail yet!

After opening the email even hovering the mouse over the link, I had a rethink.

When did I make the termination “request”? If I ever did make the request, why would Yahoo inform me AGAIN after? Why would the “Yahoo Mail Team” not have a Yahoo Mail account?

Then I took a second look at the email address and hissed. One way or the other,even I am impressed by the effort.

It is advisable not to click any links that will take you out of your email box. But if it is absolutely necessary, then by all means do take proper precautions before clicking these external links as your personal information can be compromised in seconds.

There are technical whatnots that have been know to prevent a phishing attack, but if you are not a too technical person here are simple steps to take before clicking on a link leading out of your email;

Never panic

No matter what the subject and body if the email is saying, as a matter of necessity, never panic. The attacker or hacker is counting on you to lose your cool by his/her well crafted headline or message, so NEVER be in a hurry to click an external link.

Did you request?

Most phishing emails usually come disguised as reply to requests you have supposedly made to a reputable company; credit cards, password change and personal information. Take a deep breath and try to remember if you have made that request, if not do not even reply the message or click a link.

Check sender email address

This simple 2-second cursory glance to the sender address tab saved me and could save you too. Like I asked earlier,¬†Why would the “Yahoo Mail Team” not have a Yahoo Mail account? Check and check again as most times these are frequently ignored dead giveaways.

Grammatical and spelling errors

The bodies of these emails are usually filled with spelling, capitalization, punctuation and grammatical errors. Corporations do not usually send out messages that have not been double-checked for errors.

Get a second opinion

Remember that these tips are for the people who cannot be bothered with technical jargon and still want to keep emails safe. So it is advisable to ask for a second look from somebody else if after checking all the above points you still have doubts.

Stay safe!