Phishing is a type of cyber security attack that often steals user data by sending fraudulent messages from a reliable source and it’s commonly done through emails.
As phishing attacks are increasing, recognising fake emails from verified ones is not as easy as it seems, as hackers now have an array of sophisticated methods to target employees.
Due to this, an employee may not be able to fully comprehend the trustworthiness of a site and simply put in their personal information without thinking of the consequences.
Fortunately, there are several ways to detect a phishing email and identify certain red flags. In this article, we’ve listed the different ways that you can identify phishing emails.
Let’s take a look!
1. Unfamiliar Tone and Grammatical Errors
The easiest way to identify a phishing email is to look at the spelling and use of grammar.
Most professional businesses will spell check and proofread their emails before sending them. Put simply, emails from professionals usually tend to be free of spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. Therefore, any obvious mistakes should make an employee cautious about the intention behind the email.
Additionally, if the tone of voice doesn’t sound right, especially if it’s an email from someone familiar, this might be a scam email. For instance, if a colleague’s tone of voice is too comfortable or a good friend’s language is too formal, it might not really be them. This should straight away make you question how authentic the email is and look for other signs that it is a phishing email.
2. Threats or a Sense of Urgency
Phishing emails usually threaten the recipient by creating a sense of urgency and demanding immediate action. So, everyone should always treat these types of messages with suspicion.
The primary goal of sending these emails is the hope that recipients read the email in haste, without looking at the body of it. This then leads to the person not examining the content thoroughly, causing the blatant signs of a phishing campaign to go unnoticed.
3. Generic Domain Emails
While looking at an email which claims to be a well-known company, it’s best to check their email address and their domain name. Ensure that the address doesn’t feature any alterations, like additional numbers or letters.
If it does, it’s likely a phishing email, and the employee should avoid following any content or instructions in the email. However, this method should only apply to big companies, as some smaller ones do use third-party email providers to send their emails.
4. Suspicious Attachments
If an email from an unfamiliar source comes with an attachment, it’s best to open it with caution or avoid clicking it altogether until the employee verifies the source. These attachments may lead to employees downloading malware on their device, which can compromise their data security.
Additionally, if the file has an extension type that is commonly related to virus downloads, like .zip or .exe, or features an unfamiliar extension, scan the file with anti-virus software before opening it.
5. Request for Payment Information and Other Personal Details
A phishing email usually features a fake landing page, which the employee is directed to by clicking on a link from the email. These pages might also feature a login box or show an unresolved payment issue.
If an employee isn’t expecting an email, they shouldn’t add any personal information. They should visit the website by typing in the URL instead of clicking on the link. This will help them avoid entering any personal information on a fake website or giving their payment information to an attacker.
6. Unusual Requests
If an email requests the receiver to do something that isn’t normal, then this can be an indication that the email is malicious. This includes asking permission to download third-party applications or software.
On top of this, some emails might also have little to no information, in the hopes that someone will simply download their attachments.
Keep Yourself Safe from Phishing Attacks with Redpalm
It’s crucial that we keep ourselves safe from phishing attacks and make sure that our confidential data is secure at all times.
The best way to protect yourself and your business is to hire an experienced IT company, like Redpalm. We have the best IT experts and provide robust IT solutions to ensure overall security.
Find out more about our IT solutions and services by contacting us today!