It seems like I’ve been getting an unusually large number of phishing emails lately, and I’ve began wondering whether everyone realizes how they can report phishing emails with their email provider. This article will highlight what phishing is, and why/how to properly report it.
What is a phishing email? I thought Wikipedia did a pretty good job of describing it:
Phishing is an attempt to criminally and fraudulently acquire sensitive information, such as usernames, passwords and credit card details, by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication. eBay, PayPal and online banks are common targets.
A lot of people confuse these messages with spam, and when I asked a few people whether they report the phishing emails they all said yes. When I showed them how to do it the general response was “ohhhhh.” It turns out that all of them, some of which were computer savvy, just report these emails as spam without realizing that there are separate options for reporting phishing.
The reason why it is important to correctly report phishing emails is that warnings messages are more prominently displayed for other users. This is what a phishing email looks like in Gmail:
Now that you know what phishing is and why to properly report it, lets take a look at how you go about doing so in Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, and Windows Live Hotmail.
Gmail is pretty easy because you just have to use the drop-down arrow located in the upper-right corner of each message. When you click it there will be an option labeled Report Phishing towards the end of the list:
Unfortunately Yahoo! Mail doesn’t have a built-in feature for reporting phishing emails, but they recommend that you forward the email in question to firstname.lastname@example.org so that it can be analyzed. You can also report the phishing website to Yahoo! using this form.
–Windows Live Hotmail–
When you click on the Junk option in Windows Live Hotmail there will be a Report phishing scam option located at the bottom of the list: