Those that play online games will recognise that online gaming takes time, dedication and perseverance. So, when I received an email many years ago that my World of Warcraft account had been compromised, I wasn’t prepared for the twist which led to me being denied access.
The email stated that I needed to log on and update my credentials. So, I clicked on the link and entered my details to change my password and secure my account.
After doing so, I then felt a small panic as I couldn’t log in using my new password and presumed that the server was down. Opening my game and attempting to log in with my original and new password provided only more dread.
I had then come to the realisation that my account had been compromised. I had provided the login details directly to the attacker by clicking on their link and providing my details onto their fake page. Ironically compromising my account after receiving a phishing email saying my account had been compromised.
Unfortunately, this is a story we have all seen far too often. People receive an email that warns of impending disaster if they do not click the link and enter the requested details.
Whether it is your Spotify account, your bank or your favourite online game – the content of these accounts have a value that can be taken from you and sold on.
There are a number of things you can check to prevent falling victim to a phishing attack:
Check the senders email
While the sender’s name may be something you recognise, the email address is likely to not be quite what you expected. HSBC.com is not the same as ResetpasswordHSBC.com
Check who the email was sent to
If the To section of the email is empty or has a number of names in there, alarms bells should be ringing
Are you addressed by name in the email?
Is it a generic email template? Should you be addressed by name?
Is the email in good English?
Always check for typos and poor grammar
Hover over links
If you hover over a link it will reveal the true destination to you, and if it is not the address you expected – do not click!
While the above points are not exhaustive, they do provide helpful guidance to help you spot a phishing email.
Hopefully, you will not be a victim of this type of attack and will not have to start in an online world from Level 1, with the sympathy of your peers and your inventory and rare items available for cash on eBay.