How to detect and prevent hackers and spammers

Today I received this email from what appeared to be a relative, both my father and brother are named David Newman.  So, it would be tempting to trust anything from them and click on it.

But after opening the email, it was obvious that it was not my father or brother.  They don’t write this way.  They don’t normally start or end their emails this way.  It was quite obvious that this email was not from them.

To confirm, I put my cursor over the name of the sender to reveal what was the actual email address it came from.  This is the screenshot of that mouseover effect.

As you can see, the actual email address doesn’t come close to the name.  It would have been foolish to click on the link to that site.

What would have happened if I click on the link?

Probably it would have done one of perhaps 3 things:

  1. It would have exposed me to some type of porn or e-commerce website for viagra or something (relatively harmless)
  2. It would drop a tracking cookie in my browser to start spying on me, perhaps tracking my mouse clicks, perhaps capturing my passwords (potentially harmful to only me)
  3. It would plant a seed on my computer, which would turn it into one of many hosts used for massive hack attacks (potentially massively harmful to lots of folks)

It is really important to be astute to phishing attempts like this.  Don’t be so fast to click on a link that comes from somebody you think you know.  Set up your spam filters, update your anti-virus software, increase your browser security.

Cyber attacks, cyber threats, cyber warfare, spammers, hackers, trojan horses, and malware are only getting worse as time goes by.  You have to remain vigilant and aware all the time.