What to Do After Opening a Phishing Email

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Unfortunately, cybercriminals are becoming more and more intelligent. They’re also beginning to use highly sophisticated techniques, making it very difficult for people without effective anti-spam filters to distinguish between legitimate and illegitimate emails. If you’ve fallen into this trap and have clicked on a phishing link, it’s time to act quickly to protect yourself and your data. Here’s what to do.

Try not to panic!

This is easier said than done, but staying calm will help you think logically and act practically. Remember – simply opening a phishing email isn’t likely to compromise you. If you opened the email but didn’t click on any links or download any attachments, the chances of the criminals behind the attack accessing your information is very slim. If this is the case, report the sender and move the email into your junk folder.

Disconnect your device from the network

However, if you did click on a phishing link within the email, this next step is very important. Disconnecting from the internet will help to prevent the cybercriminals responsible for the phishing attack from gaining access to important, sensitive data. You can do this by disconnecting your Wi-Fi or ethernet cable.

Check if you downloaded an attachment

Clicking on a phishing link often starts the download of folders or files containing harmful malware. With this in mind, you should check your downloads folder to see if an attachment was downloaded to your device – but don’t open it. If you can, delete the attachment without opening it.

Scan your device for viruses and malware

Even if you’ve taken the previous precautionary steps, it’s still important to scan your device for viruses and malware. Your device will spot harmful software quickly and more efficiently than you could manually.

Report the email

To help prevent further phishing attacks, it’s important to report the email to your email provider. This will help them identify spam emails in the future and make it easier for them to alert other potential victims.

Change your personal information

If you entered your personal login information to a website as part of the phishing attack, it’s time to update it. The people behind the phishing email may now have access to your username and password, which can be used to decipher login information for other sites and accounts.

Invest in a high-quality anti-spam gateway

Once you’ve dealt with the problem, it can be tempting to forget all about cyber security. However, it’s more important than ever to protect yourself and your data against future phishing attempts. By investing in an anti-spam filter for your server, like MailCleaner, you can prevent spam emails containing harmful malware from reaching your inbox in the first place.

This is especially important if you manage a team of employees. It can be difficult to expect everyone in the workplace to understand the true importance of data security and to act appropriately in the event of a phishing attack. For this reason, you should mitigate the risk of spam attacks in the first place by investing in MailCleaner, a cloud-based anti-spam gateway that eliminates up to 99% of spam and harmful viruses.

Learn more about MailCleaner and its main benefits today or contact us for more information.