How to identify Phishing Emails.
In the ever expanding and growing world of technology. Devices such as computers, phones, tablets, etc. Attacks have become more sophisticated and advanced to make everyday life easier either in personal or work life. With that though so to do the threats of online attacks become more advanced and despite advances in anti-virus protocols and detection technology, phishing attacks continue to increase not only in number but in impact as well.
Phishing can come in many forms such as emails, websites, texts, and phone calls. While having many different forms to a phishing attack the approach to many of them often stays the same. Here are five quick and easy ways to help identify if you are being targeted with a phishing attack by emails.
1. Emails Demanding Urgent Action
Emails threatening a negative consequence, or a loss of opportunity unless urgent action is taken, are often phishing emails. Attackers often use this approach to rush recipients into action before they have had the opportunity to study the email for potential flaws or inconsistencies.
2. Emails with Bad Grammar and Spelling Mistakes
Another way to spot phishing is bad grammar and spelling mistakes. Many companies apply spell-checking tools to outgoing emails by default to ensure their emails are grammatically correct. Those who use browser-based email clients apply autocorrect or highlight features on web browsers.
3. Too good to be true emails and emails with bad grammar and spelling mistakes.
Another way to spot phishing is bad grammar and spelling mistakes. Many companies apply spell-checking tools to outgoing emails by default to ensure their emails are grammatically correct. Those who use browser-based email clients apply autocorrect or highlight features on web browsers. Too good to be true emails are those which incentivize the recipient to click on a link or open an attachment by claiming there will be a reward of some nature. If the sender of the email is unfamiliar or the recipient did not initiate the contact, the likelihood is this is a phishing email.
4. Inconsistencies in Email Addresses, Links & Domain Names
Another way how to spot phishing is by finding inconsistencies in email addresses, links and domain names. If you think you are being targeted by a scammer, one question you can ask is “Does the email originate from an organization I have corresponded with often?” If so, check the sender’s address against previous emails from the same organization. Look to see if a link is legitimate by hovering the mouse pointer over the link to see what pops up. If an email allegedly originates from (say) Google, but the domain name reads something else, report the email as a phishing attack.
5. Emails Requesting Login Credentials, Payment Information or Sensitive Data
Emails originating from an unexpected or unfamiliar sender that request login credentials, payment information or other sensitive data should always be treated with caution. This could be an attempt made at by a scammer called spear phishing. They can forge login pages to look like the real thing and send an email containing a link that directs the recipient to the fake page. Whenever a recipient is redirected to a login page, or told a payment is due, they should refrain from inputting information unless they are 100% certain the email is legitimate.
If you feel as if you are being targeted by phishers. Just remember to stop for a moment and read over the email. Check to see if there is anything suspicious or untrustworthy about the email like the domain name or if it’s asking for urgent action with supplying personal information with a negative consequence to it if you don’t.
Remember to check for poor spelling and grammar mistakes as well. The scammer will usually have a generic greeting as well or no greeting at all. Scammers will do their best to make something as convincing as possible at a quick glance to lull the individual into a fall sense of panic or confusion to snag the information that is needed. Keep your information safe and remember to keep calm when reviewing a suspicious email and look over all the details within that email to protect yourself from scammers.