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Stacy shares lots of tips and information in this video series. Topics include email marketing, visibility, spam, phishing, spoofing, and how to get in the inbox.
A wide variety of cybersecurity topics are also included.

The difference between marketing emails, spam emails, and phishing emails

In this video Stacy Eldridge teaches you the differences between marketing emails, spam emails, and phish emails. You'll also learn what to do when these emails land in your inbox.

The difference between marketing emails, spam emails, and phishing emails

Today I wanted to talk to you about the difference between marketing emails, spam emails, and phishing emails and then what to do if one of them lands in your inbox. Let's start with marketing emails.


We're probably all pretty familiar with marketing emails, whether we realize it or not.
You get them when you buy a product from someone or a business online. They got your email address and then the next thing you know you're getting this seemingly random email from that company. It could be for sales, offers, or it could just be a newsletter.

These are the marketing email that I'm talking about. These are sent out from legitimate businesses that are trying to reach you via email instead of on social media.

The emails can take several different forms. They're trying to advertise their business, promote sales of products, and they're trying to request business from you. If they're doing it right, they are trying to build brand loyalty, trust, and awareness.


Spam is that unwanted advertisement. Think of it as electronic junk mail. It's the offer you never wanted and its promises that are too good to be true. Today, think of the bogus COVID-19 testing cures that they're selling. You get these offers in the email.


Phishing emails are the most dangerous because they are sent to the unsuspecting person and the bad guy is trying to lure you into voluntarily hand over the keys to the Kingdom. With phishing emails, they're trying to get your data, your information, and usernames and passwords, so these are by far the worst of these. Marketing meals can be a little annoying because they're filling your inbox, and spam is of course filling your inbox and spam box with spam, and attempting to swindle you out of your money.

Phishing emails are the worst because they are trying to take everything that you've got and it could be on a personal nature or a business nature. When you're getting these types of emails in your inbox you want to take some time to figure out what's what and then decide on your next course of action.


Regarding unwanted email marketing messages, the best thing to do if you don't want them anymore is to unsubscribe. However, you do need to make sure that it's a marketing email and not spam and not a phishing email.

Sometimes you might feel as if there is a fine line between spam and marketing emails.

That’s because they're both selling something, and sometimes it's hard to remember if you've done business with this company in the past or not. If you've done business with them in the past, you know the company, and you're familiar you can review the unsubscribe link and see where it's taking you to unsubscribe. If it's legitimate and matches up with the name of the company then go ahead and click that unsubscribe button on the form.


Here’s my word of caution. If you're not familiar, if the from name is wonky, and the domain name is wonky and it's sending you to some crazy website to unsubscribe, that most likely is spam. It could be a phishing email, that you haven't figured out that it's a fish yet, but in those cases, you want to send that email to your spam folder or your junk folder rather than clicking unsubscribe. If you click on the unsubscribe, especially if you give your email address, then they're going to know that they’ve spammed or phished an actual email address and they're going to give you more spam or phishing emails. Use caution when doing that because the last thing you want is more spam.

The same things apply to a phishing email.

Check out that from the name, the actual from email address, what they want, and is this expected behavior? Don't click unsubscribe or take any action in the email if it's a phishing email. Report it as spam and send it to junk. You can also delete it.

Stacy Eldridge has nearly 20 years of cybersecurity experience including nearly a decade in the FBI. Stacy helps you take your email from spam to seen and increase the visibility and security of your business online. Grab Stacy’s free guide to The Top 3 Reasons Your Emails Are Going to Spam. Follow Stacy on Instagram at @siliconprairiecyber and join her free Facebook Group

Spam Emails vs Phishing Emails

What do you know about spam and phishing emails? In this video Stacy Eldridge provides an overview of spam emails and phishing emails. You'll learn the differences and how to spot them so you can stay safe online.

Spam Emails vs Phishing Emails

Today I want to talk to you about spam emails versus phishing emails and give you the down and dirty of what you need to know about those two things so you can stay safe.


Think of spam as that unwanted advertisement. It's the equivalent of electronic junk Mail.
These days it offers you never requested it. Contains promises that are too good to be true. These guys are trying to swindle you out of your money. Think of it as that offer you never asked for.

When you interact with these spam messages and attempt to buy something, generally you either don’t receive any product because they’re only swindling you out of your money. If you do get something, it's going to be something that's super crappy, cheap and it's not going to last. It’s probably not going to look like what you were expecting either.

You've seen at all in those social media posts that are similar to Pinterest fails but instead people see this beautiful gown on the Internet, and instead of retailing for $300 it’s on special for $19.99. The unsuspecting consumer buys it, and it’s just the worst. Have you seen the super, cheap, knock-off Halloween costumes? It’s kind of like that. Keep that in mind when you're wondering if that email is spam.

When you receive spam, send it to your junk mail instead of clicking on it and interacting with it.

A lot of people wonder…




The phishing emails are trying to get at you, your data, and your passwords versus spam where they want to make a quick buck.

Phishing emails are those emails that are sent to the unsuspecting person and they want to lure you in to voluntarily giving over away something that that bad guy wants. They want you to give away the keys of the Kingdom.

They've written this email just for you.

It's so enticing.

It's so wonderful.

It just makes you want to click and take action without even giving it a second thought, AND many times there's going to be some sense of urgency in that message, and it makes you want to click even faster without taking the time to pause and review that email to see if it's legit.

Not only are phishing emails more targeted they want your data, your information, or access to something that you have. They definitely want your username and passwords now.

That’s the down and dirty differences between spam and phishing emails.

Let’s talk about when to unsubscribe from emails. Should you unsubscribe from spam or phishing emails when you see the link to unsubscribe? No!


We all get on those email marketing lists. Generally, it happens when you sign up to get a freebie, or you order something online. You get added to their list thanks to your purchase, and they start sending you marketing emails.

Marketing emails are emails that you've received legitimately, but you don’t want to read it. It's OK to unsubscribe from that. If you know that business and you just don't want to be on their list anymore it’s fine to unsubscribe.

But sometimes it's hard to tell.

Is this an email marketing email?

This could happen when you don't remember because a purchase was so long ago or it just seems so spammy, scammy, or unfamiliar.


In those cases where you're not sure what the heck it is, or if you know for sure that it's spam, go ahead and click the button to send it to spam, send it to your junk mail through your email tool. If the email is legitimate, it's OK to click unsubscribe for those marketing emails, but just make sure you know the difference and be sure it's a marketing email before you click unsubscribe.

If that email is spam and you click unsubscribe then the spammers know they got a hold of a real email address, and you're going to get more emails that are spammy and scammy coming to you.

Like I always say, as with anything in email take the time and review it and make sure you know who it’s from and where it’s taking you before you click and interact with that email.

Stacy Eldridge has nearly 20 years of cybersecurity experience including nearly a decade in the FBI. Stacy helps you take your email from spam to seen and increase the visibility and security of your business online. Grab Stacy’s free guide to The Top 3 Reasons Your Emails Are Going to Spam. You can follow her at @siliconprairiecyber on Instagram.

2021 Phishing Trends

In this video Stacy Eldridge shares the top email phishing scams that are headed your way in 2021.

Learn what cybercriminals want and how they're getting it.

2021 Phishing Email Trends

We've made it to 2021. No one knows what it's quite going to look like yet, but analysts have been sharing their thoughts on what cyberattacks and phishing attacks might look like in 2021, and I wanted to share with you the two big things that you can expect to see in terms of phishing attacks trends this year.


The big trend that analysts are expecting to see in phishing attacks from the cybercriminals will focus on hitting accounting and marketing departments really hard.

As the small business owner, you probably don't have an entire accounting or marketing department. It's probably you wearing those two hats and many more hats.


Instead of targeting your accounting department, scammers are like to use phishing attacks targeting your payment processing options, and it'll include themes such as: 
-Problems sending ‘deposits’ to your bank account - click here now to verify
-We need new credit card details, click here now to update it
-It could be a system that you have, or it may not be a system that you have.

Either way those emails that are targeting something related to your payments and accounting systems which could be anything from Stripe to Quickbooks.

Cybercriminals always want you to click and log in NOW. Right now on that link.

And they don't care what payment processing you're using, what accounting system they're using, because they're hoping the fear of saying something’s dreadfully wrong, you owe money, or money didn't reach you then you'll click because you are panicked because you're not getting money or payments. Perhaps you’ll click because you're curious and panicked about why are you getting this email about stuff you don't even have.


Once you click, you're trying to log in, and then the cybercriminals are going to capture your password. They want your password.


They're trying to invoke panic, so you click, enter your password, and they're logging everything you type the entire time.

Next, I want to share a story about some scams and phishing emails that I see quite a bit, and these involve Square payments. Square offers many different services. You can send invoices. You can do have a scheudling calendar. You can collect payments. You can have a website and more. As an entrepreneur and as a small business owner, you might have one or more of these Square services.

The fraudsters will send out an email telling you about a ‘problem’ processing a payment that you've received or something’s wrong with your bank details.

Then email ends with ‘Please click here and log in.’

The branding in the email is decent. The English is really good.


You have to look at the click here link and then you'll see that you're not actually going to the Square website to log in. Never click on links in emails if you can avoid it. Visit that website directly instead.

Take the time to review the email address of the sender.
If something seems phishy visit the website directly instead of clicking the link. Avoid the link!

Stacy Eldridge has nearly 20 years of cybersecurity experience including nearly a decade in the FBI. Stacy helps you take your email from spam to seen and increase the visibility and security of your business online. Grab Stacy’s free guide to The Top 3 Reasons Your Emails Are Going to Spam. You can follow her at @siliconprairiecyber on Instagram.

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