Mark as Junk to Fight against Cybercriminals

If you see any suspicious email, you should mark it as SPAM or JUNK or Phishing, instead of deleting it. I have seen many users who just delete suspicious file and unfortunately, there are people in area of security who ask users to delete unknown and suspicious emails. The question is when should we delete email and when mark them as spam? We are deleting emails, when we know it is trustworthy and we could ask sender to stop sending such email or unsubscribe from the email and to free up our mailbox, we will delete them. But if email came from unknown source and we couldn’t trust the email or it has any suspicious behavior, we shouldn’t just delete them and instead we should mark it as spam. This would help our email spamming system to fight against spammer and cybercriminals. It also help legal authorities to have better evidence when fighting against spammers and they could say thousands of our user requesting us to block this guy and we ask them to stop spamming and they refused so we bring them to court. Sometimes, email might come from your trusted friend and it seems suspicious, in this case, you should call your friend and ask them to check basic security steps like check for malwares, change passwords and check with email provider to see whether is there any suspicious behavior with their email or not. If you are using Microsoft Account, there are good description about things you could do here. It is better to contact them by phone or other mean of communication than email, because we are not sure whether your friend’s email have been hacked or not. One interesting feature in Microsoft Outlook.com email is you could mark your friend’s email have been hacked and this would help your friend. It is drop list near the Junk in Outlook.com, where you mark email as Junk or Spam.

We as security professional, should teach our users to mark suspicious emails as Junk or Spam, instead of deleting them. So we will know what emails are trying to harm users and which one are just taking some extra space. In term of Junk or Spam, it is matter of cybercrime and in some cases, they might carry dangerous attachments which might contain new malwares and report as junk or spam, would help us to identify new threats and even unknown or 0-days vulnerability. To make this matter clear for users, I would ask them to consider your home, sometimes, you need to do cleaning and remove dusts and you will see some piece of paper like old receipts which you don’t need them any longer , but they won’t harm you and you just throw them out , to make your home cleaner. But imagine, if someone send you something dangerous. Let say it is a package which might contain bomb or it is a letter convince you to leave your home at specific hour (so may be someone could come into your home during those hours and commit robbery), you won’t just throw it out. You will place it outside your home and call police or other legal authorities. Marking email as Junk or just Delete them is like this. So you should be careful, whether you should delete email or mark it as junk.

 

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