If you ever received a random email from Microsoft, Paypal, or Facebook, you need to think twice before opening it. Security researchers claimed that these big companies are currently being used by cybercriminals in their phishing campaigns.

If You are Receiving Random Facebook, Microsoft, and Paypal Emails, Don't Open Them
(Photo : Photo by Adam Berry/Getty Images)
BERLIN, GERMANY - DECEMBER 27: A particpant checks a circuit board next to an oscilloscope on the first day of the 28th Chaos Communication Congress (28C3) - Behind Enemy Lines computer hacker conference on December 27, 2011 in Berlin, Germany. The Chaos Computer Club is Europe's biggest network of computer hackers and its annual congress draws up to 3,000 participants.

According to TechRadar, phishing campaigns are currently very popular across the world. Why? Because most companies and their employees are communicating with each other through different email services.

They are forced to do this since governments in different countries are still implementing restrictions, especially since there are new strains of COVID-19 that are now spreading across the United Kingdom, South Africa, and other places.

Why should you avoid these emails?

Vade Secure, a security firm, discovered that Facebook, Microsoft, and Paypal are among the most-impersonated brands in phishing scams last year of 2020. Hackers and other malicious actors are using their name to sound and look more legitimate.

If You are Receiving Random Facebook, Microsoft, and Paypal Emails, Don't Open Them

(Photo : Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - FEBRUARY 01: Miguel Chateloin (L) and Lazaro Gamio use their computers to write code that would allow people living in Cuba to use email to post to blogs during the Hackathon for Cuba event on February 1, 2014 in Miami, Florida. The hackathon brought together experts and programmers to devise innovative technology solutions aimed at strengthening communications and information access in Cuba. The event is organized by Roots of Hope with support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

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The security firm examined more than a billion mailboxes across the globe. Results were revealed in Vade Secure's Phishers' Favorites 2020 report. 
Right now, Microsoft is still the number one brand name used by different hackers and cybercriminals. This is currently a serious privacy and security issue since most people are exchanging information online.

On the other hand, security experts added that coronavirus-themed emails have increased way back in 2020. Scammers are usually sending fake offers for facemasks, PPE equipment, and even vaccines. Just like the Microsoft-impersonators, they are also using big names such as the World Health Organization and NHS.

How to avoid these phishing emails

To help the public getting fooled by these phishing emails, the Federal Trade Commission Consumer Information provided some tips on how to avoid them.

Here are some signs that the email you received is a phishing email;

  • Say you must confirm some personal informationinclude a fake invoice
  • Want you to click on a link to make a payment
  • Say you're eligible to register for a government refundOffer a coupon for free stuff
  • Say you must confirm some personal informationinclude a fake invoice
  • Say they've noticed some suspicious activity or log-in attempts
  • Claim there's a problem with your account or your payment information

Here are the things you need to do;

  • Protect your data by backing it up
  • Protect your accounts by using multi-factor authentication
  • Protect your computer by using security software
  • Protect your mobile phone by setting software to update automatically

For more news updates about the latest security issues, always keep your tabs open here at TechTimes.

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Written by: Giuliano de Leon.

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