Spam emails only become dangerous depending on how you handle them. So, while opening a spam email won’t necessarily cause harm, what you do next is crucial.
This blog will discuss what you can do if you accidentally open a spam email on your smartphone.
What Happens If You Accidentally Open a Spam Email on Your Phone?
Spam emails use various methods and usually contain misleading information and typographical errors. Some spammers use scare tactics to make individuals engage in spam emails.
Most times, spam emails contain malware, which can compromise your devices connected to the email. Therefore, opening a spam email is not a good idea and carries numerous risks.
Risks Of Opening a Spam Email on Your Smartphone
Spam emails occur frequently, and unwanted emails popping up in your inbox often get annoying. Apart from instigating a nuisance, spam emails also contain various dangers that must be handled correctly. Here are some threats found in spam emails.
A trojan horse is a malware that is disguised to appear as a legitimate program. However, when you download or click on the attachment, your device becomes infected.
It is easy to fall victim to a trojan horse. Unfortunately, many individuals who have methods of verifying emails can also fall victim to this malware.
The trojan horse can be hidden in software or attachments that, if downloaded, install different spyware and viruses on your device. This spyware and viruses can cause many problems on your device and compromise personal details.
Trojan horses can also be used by cybercriminals to hijack control over your device, steal your personal data and even have access to your account. Trojan horses can be tackled by installing anti-malware applications on your smartphone.
Phishing is a very costly threat to individuals. A phishing email can often come disguised as a message from a legitimate business you might be using. Instead, however, it is sent from an illegitimate address.
An opened phishing email usually contains links to shady sites asking for your credit card information, bank account information or personal details. This is a trap.
Phishing emails are designed to get individuals to willingly input their personal information so cybercriminals can access it. If you do not provide any information, the phishing email is useless.
Zombies are like trojan horses as they are both malware. Zombies are malware contained within spam emails that turn your smartphone or device into a server that can be used to send more spam emails to other phones or computers.
This makes it more challenging to notice than trojan horses. As a result, many victims of zombies have no idea that their device is compromised.
However, some signs still occur, such as reduced smartphone performance and battery life. The best way to avoid zombies is to avoid spam email links.
Fake Offers and Lottery Scams
Many people want to get lucky and hit the jackpot. But, unfortunately, cybercriminals sometimes use this to compromise a person’s information or device.
They use the desires or nature of an individual to take advantage of and get what they want from them. It might come as a message congratulating you on winning the lottery or asking for your help for someone in need. Avoid replying or clicking on a phishing link when you receive emails like this.
You also can look for phrases that sound too urgent such as “act now” or “immediately,” to identify such emails.
What To Do After Opening a Spam Email
Sometimes we accidentally open spam emails. You can take a few steps to help prevent data or identity theft in situations like this.
Mark as Spam
If you accidentally open the email, it is important to mark it as spam. Most email services, such as Gmail and Apple, can filter spam messages and keep them in a separate folder.
If you open a spam email in your regular inbox, it is important to mark it as spam. When an email is moved to spam, subsequent emails from that address are also marked as spam.
Delete The Spam Email
After the email has been marked as spam, the user can then go ahead to delete the email. However, in some instances, cybercriminals can identify if you have opened a spam email. Therefore, it is better not to open the email at all and delete it.
If a cybercriminal identifies your email as active, they can use it to send more spam emails disguised as legitimate emails. Hence, it is better to delete without opening the mail at all.
Adjust Privacy Settings
Privacy options can be adjusted in case you open a spam email. You can view your security settings and verify the devices connected to your email account. If you see any unfamiliar device, delete it quickly. Personal information settings can also be adjusted to help avoid identity theft.
Consider Identity Theft Protection
If you need more protection after opening a spam email, consider signing up for identity theft protection. IdentityIQ identity theft protection provides real-time fraud alerts and credit monitoring to help protect you and give you peace of mind.
Is There a Way to Permanently Stop Spam Emails?
Spam emails cannot be stopped from being sent to your account. However, there are various ways for individuals to handle spam messages if they encounter any.
Popular email services have filters that help individuals identify and separate spam emails. Internet service providers also help prevent several spam emails. However, they are not foolproof.
Individuals can install anti-malware software on their devices to help them tackle various spam threats and viruses. This anti-malware software can also help delete already-present trojan horses or viruses on your device.
The best way to stop spam emails is by marking them as spam and deleting them without opening the message.
Why Am I Suddenly Getting Spam Emails?
If you’re receiving spam emails in your inbox, spammers have identified your email address as valid. But, unfortunately, that means the spam messages won’t be filtered.
There are different ways for spammers to have access to your email address. If you’re wondering why you’re suddenly receiving spam emails, it might be due to the following:
Scraping Public Records
If you post your email address publicly, email spammers can access it and send spam messages.
Spammers may have gotten your email address from data breaches. A data breach occurs when personal information is hacked.
Sometimes spammers don’t need much effort to find valid emails. For example, they might make use of different name combinations.
What To Do If I Am a Victim of Phishing?
Phishing can be very harmful to individuals. If you opened a phishing link or downloaded an attachment by mistake, here are some quick steps.
Disconnect from the Internet
When you accidentally open a phishing link, quickly turn off your Wi-Fi or cellular data. Without internet access, the chances of malware transmitting data from your device are reduced.
Scan for Malware
After disconnecting from the Internet, do a full scan of your smartphone or device with anti-malware software to ensure device safety.
Sensitive and important information should be backed up in case of any virus. Make copies of files and keep them on an external device.
Change Your Passwords
When you accidentally open a phishing link, immediately change all passwords linked to your email to prevent compromise.
Bottom Line on Opening Spam Emails on Your Phone
Spam emails are very common all over the world. They are unwanted emails that might contain malicious malware or viruses designed to infiltrate and steal information from user devices.
Spam messages can be harmful and handling them properly when you receive them is important. When a spam email is discovered, it can be marked as spam and then deleted to ensure data safety. It is best not to open or engage in spam emails at all.