How do you recognise a phishing e-mail? 6 tips to stay safe

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Phishing emails target your data and identity and can look extremely realistic. How do you ensure that you don’t fall in to te the trap? gives you a number of tips.

Recognize phishing e-mails

When writing about security on Android smartphones, we should not forget phishing e-mails. These almost authentic emails seem to tempt you to click on a link or download an attachment, with all its consequences.

On smartphones, these e-mails are dangerous in unique ways. For example, you can not hover over a link with your mouse just like behind your computer to see what lies behind it. Smartphones can also be taken over with one wrong link. That is why we have put together a series of tips for you to recognize a phishing e-mail.

1. Check the e-mail address

A wrong e-mail address is one of the most important ways to recognize a phishing e-mail. Since the name can easily be changed at the address, you have to focus on the e-mail address itself. Sometimes this address is clearly not true, but other times it is less visible.

For example, an e-mail from an address ending in looks real, but Facebook sends its e-mails via An e-mail from seems to come from the bank, but as you can see there are two “s” in the name. Does the e-mail address consist of a series of strange characters? Then it is immediately clear that you are dealing with phishing here.

2. Check language usage and spelling

The second hint that you are dealing with a phishing e-mail is the language usage and spelling. Official e-mails are usually strictly checked by several people before they are sent. Although phishing e-mails can also perfectly fit in terms of language, something is often wrong. For example, phrases are bad, there are spelling mistakes or the salutation is the first part of your e-mail address.

If there are no ways to get in touch with the company that sends the e-mail, then chances are that you are dealing with a phishing e-mail.

3. Spot urgency

Many phishing e-mails have a remarkably urgent tone. You are warned that you have to act quickly, otherwise, something will go wrong or you will miss something. Think of the bank that warns that your account is being closed, a message that a collection agency will be sent to you if you do not fill in your details quickly, or a supermarket that states that you have won a prize that you can only collect today. With this urgency, the creators of the e-mails hope that you can take action quickly through panic.

4. Beware of links

Most phishing e-mails hope you click on a link. Such a link can have several dangerous consequences. Many of these links send you to a website that is very similar to the official website of the company being imitated. You then have to enter your personal details, such as a credit card number, bank details or address. This data can be used to steal your money or even your identity.

Open another link and the person behind this phishing e-mail can hack your device with all its consequences. On your PC it is easy to see what is behind a link, by hovering over it with your mouse and looking at the address at the bottom of the browser. That does not work on your smartphone. So your option is to copy the link by keeping your finger on it (so do not tap, but press!) And then tap on ‘Copu Link URL’. Then you will see the URL appear briefly at the bottom of the screen. Do you want to look better? Then paste the URL into a text file.

5. Beware of attachments

In addition, you must be careful with the downloading and opening of attachments. If you do not trust the e-mail, we recommend never downloading the attachment. If you download a file on your smartphone, there are many ways in which it can go wrong and your data or even your identity can be stolen.

6. Use Gmail

One advantage of using Gmail is that Google has smart spam filters that send a whole bunch of phishing e-mails directly to your spam folder. Sometimes, however, something can slip between them. So the most important thing is to use your common sense. If there is something you do not trust for any reason, then you should contact the authority where the e-mail seems to come from to ask if the message is correct.

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