We’ve all received spam e-mail at some point, from bogus sales pitches to making thousands in a matter of days, getting ripped in 6 weeks or winning a fantastic prize. But nowadays more and more scams and fraudulent spam messages are coming from people we know, or at least from their e-mail address. So despite an improve in spam filters by most e-mail providers (particularly Gmail, who boast a figure of less than 1% of spam messages making it into your inbox), a lot of these illicit emails may still make it through, particularly if you have regular contact with the person who’s account is compromised.
This meant that spammer’s tactics became more drastic, and they in fact became account thieves, breaking into peoples e-mail accounts in order to send fraudulent mail from a trusted e-mail address. Everyday cyber criminals hack websites and steal databases containing hundreds or thousands of usernames, e-mail addresses and passwords, and as many people use the same password for various accounts, this allows them access to exactly what they want. Often they are looking to access email accounts for the purpose of sending fraudulent mail, but in most cases any data can be valuable to a cyber-criminal, with black market forums dedicated to the sale of such information.
Of course this has led to the bigger companies such as Google to improve their security measures, and when you try to log in to their system, they do more than simply check the password is correct. Their new system boasts 120 variables to help determine whether it is actually you accessing your email account, from your current location to asking simple questions about your account. They also claim that these changes have reduced the number of accounts compromised since the peak in 2011 by a massive 99.7%.
As a digital agency we understand that safety of data however arbitrary is paramount, and ensure to take every measure to keep it safe for both ourselves and our clients. With hackers looking for any digital property they can get their hands on every day, you must ensure your digital property is properly secure and you are prepared for the worst.