Protect yourself and your computer against phishing

Are you able to recoginze phishing emails? Then you are one of the few, because of a “Phishing Quiz” from Intel Security, it shows that only 3% (three!) of the 19,000 respondents could distinguish the real from the fake-mails emails.

The quiz was conducted in 144 countries. The Phishing Quiz is a test of ten emails. The respondent must indicate whether the e-mail he or she sees is real or fake. 3% of respondents knew how to distinguish all the good emails from the bad. 80% of respondents had at least one e-mail error. But that one bad email is already enough to make a victim of you …

Bank information

Phishing is primarily intended to steal information from the consumer, such as bank details. Until recently this was mainly done by e-mail. There was suddenly was an email from your bank stating that the bank needed your PIN. Such mail stinks of course, a real bank obviously never ask via e-mail for your PIN.

American Express phishing mail
Example of a phishing mail.

Don’t just click links

Today, the thieves go one step further. In some cases it is already sufficient clicking on a link to install malware on the computer. Once this software is installed, the thieves get access to your entire computer. As an owner, you never know that someone else has access to your property. This is not entirely within the definition of phishing – it’s just malware – but the effect is the same.

Well, what can you do to protect yourself at least by the traditional form of phishing?


Gary Davis, Intel’s head of security, indicates that you must read your email especially good. Look at poor, not throbbing phrases. Grammar is often not implemented properly, because the hackers are lazy and translate some phrases just using Google Translate Davis also gives tips on how to protect yourself best against phishing:


  • Keep your security software, and browsers up to date
  • Place the mouse over a link to you see what’s behind the address. This is often an indication: odd address = not click!.
  • Take the time to check e-mail on the obvious clues: misspelled words, strange urls, amateurish or suspicious images and a sender you do not know.
  • Enter the url in your browser instead of clicking the link, to see if the company in the email is the same on the website.


  • Click any links in emails from unknown or suspicious senders
  • Don’t forward a suspicious e-mail to friends or family
  • Download no content that your browser or security software says that you should not
  • Type no confidential information – such as credit card number, address or social security number – on sites you do not trust or email to suspicious addresses

Are you able to recognize phising mails? Do the McAfee Phishing Quiz to test your knowledge.


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