In these times where massive communication and business transactions happen over emails, there has been a steady rise in nefarious activities, especially malicious e-mail spoofing that seek to exploit individuals and organizations.
Email Spoofing refers to an email where the sender forges the address or origin of the email and makes it appear to be from another address fooling the receiver/s to provide their personal details, be it financial or sensitive information.
You think to yourself, “That’s right. I know about this. And I’m much too careful to avoid these”. You’re not too wrong here either. Most of the spoofed mails that head onto our inboxes are usually nothing more than just a nuisance. But the keyword here is most, and not all.
There are several known malicious kinds of spoofed emails that are known to cause pose heavy security risks and may also cause severe losses in the form of data and identification theft.
- ‘Email spoofing attacks in business is growing exponentially in India’ Reads a report where there have been more than 20+ known major email spoofing cases in India in 2016.The total amount of financial loss due to spoofing has been amounted to several lakhs (http://blog.logix.in/email-spoofing/)
- If that was not all, an alarming report from IBM Threat Intelligence states that spam mails have gone up by 4 times over the past year with a dramatic increase in number of malicious threats in these mails.
Remember the number of spam mails that pile up in your inbox! More than half of them tend to have malicious content that can compromise your cyber security.
- Email is still the #1 delivery vehicle for most malware (https://blog.barkly.com/phishing-statistics-2017 )
You may often see your inbox being filled with spam and junk mail but what if you receive a mail from a well-known address or a contact. You are obliged to open it and respond to the solicitation upon which you realize you have been scammed.
Sounds disconcerting, right?!?
Why Email Spoofing?
One of the main motives is the already discussed one, to extort information about you and other personal details, passwords, login details, etc. A spoofed email can carry a malicious link that mimics a reputable website, where upon entering your details, it is leaked to the sender, who then uses it for their monetary gain and other purposes. Or, it can install a malware into your system that can immobilize your work flow.
Email spoofing is often employed to generate useless traffic over the internet overloading servers and bringing them down. Other malicious accord involves trying to dishonour a person by impersonating their email address to send a vile or insensitive message.
But How Did They Get Hold of My Email Address?
You may have readily entered your email address on a shady website either for subscription or user login; or clicked a link sent through a phishing mail. Quite a number of people tend to expose their email addresses when they send forwards or messages to a vast group of people. All it takes is one of those receiver email addresses to be rigged or compromised, for your email id to be exposed to a spoofing network.
Which brings us to the Most Paramount question – How Can I Protect Myself from being email spoofed?
- There is no way sure-shot way to guard yourself from these emails entirely; the best bet would be to ignore them. With Spam filters equipped in all email services, the filters do work in restricting the mails.
- If you received a mail from a contact and find it in the spam or junk folder, instead of simply unblocking it, check the source to confirm if it was really from them.
- Check the Internet headers information to find out the source. The header displays valuable information – IP address and domain which you can use to crosscheck with the previous emails from the same contact to confirm if they are authentic.
However, do remember that receiving a spoofed mail doesn’t compromise your mailbox.
- There are anti-spoofing tools available such as DMARC, SPF and other content filters that check the reputability of the sender’s address and domain name.
- Last but not least, be wary of suspicious emails or links that ask for sensitive information even if they seem reputable. Mails stating a sense of urgency, unusual attachments, odd address and content are red flags reminiscent of phishing baits.
Even with all this established, one has to admit that cyber criminals and scammers have become very inventive and sophisticated over the years. Even with new antivirus software, they seem find a way in tricking not just individuals but even tech savvy giants like in the case of Seagate Technology and Snapchat in 2016 to fall prey.
It’s a no-brainer then that you should be concerned about how secure your data is in the online world? A single wrong click could land in such repercussions crippling your life?
Is Cyber Insurance the Answer?
This is where a Cyber Insurance Policy comes in handy providing you with stress-free and safe browsing aiding you in these troubled waters and having your back.
According to a report, in India, thousands are opting for cyber insurance; an Insurance Broking Firm saw a 50% increase in companies buying cyber security cover in 2017 compared with 2016. (Source- economic times India)
Individuals too seeking the best means of protection in their online presence can now look no further than getting a cyber insurance to secure themselves.
The Individual Cyber Safe Insurance Policy from Bajaj Allianz General Insurance is something you can bet on to safeguard from the potential threats emanating from Email Spoofing. But it doesn’t just end there. You also get cover that includes protection against Phishing, Cyber Stalking, Cyber Extortion, Privacy & Data Breach, just to name a few.
To know more about the policies and the coverage offered, head on over to https://www.bajajallianz.com/Corp/liability-insurance/individual-cyber-safe-insurance.jsp.