How to recognise phishing emails and
limit your chances of getting caught out!
With many people now working from home, there has been a surge in phishing email scams as hackers take full advantage of the current situation, turning their attention to individuals working remotely and putting both individuals and businesses at risk.
To keep both yourself and your company safe, there are some simple signs to look out for to make sure you don’t become a victim of phishing emails and so that you don’t find yourself stuck between a rock and a hard ‘plaice’…
This is a more personally tailored type of phishing email which may contain relevant information such as your name or your contact information.
How to Identify a Phishing Email
When you receive an email from an unfamiliar account, look out for the following red flags:
Always look carefully at the sender’s information. If it looks unusual, it probably is!
Understanding email addresses can help you spot a scammer. Many phishing attempts will be from accounts that have names designed to inspire trust such as customerservice@ or accounts@ but it is the email domain that is a good indicator of a fake account.
(Email domain: The part of an email address that comes after the @ symbol)
Most companies will almost certainly have their own email domain and the majority of employees will have the same domain e.g. @infrastar.co.uk.
If you receive an email allegedly from a company, but without a company domain, and using gmail.com, outlook.com or yahoo.com or, for example, firstname.lastname@example.org, it is highly likely that that email has been sent to you from a fraudulent account.
Others on the email?
Some generic phishing emails will be sent to a bulk of addresses at the same time. Is the email addressed only to you or are others included on the email as well? If others are listed, ask yourself why!
The Call to Action
Scammers will try and provoke a reaction from their targets. They want you to take action and so their subject lines will be a call to action or a ‘click-bait’ title. They want to catch your attention or panic you into the response they are looking for.
Beware of subject lines such as:
- Your Tracking Details!
- “So-and-So” shared a document with you…
- Confirm your identity!
- Verify your account!
- Update your account!
- You must change your password ASAP!
- “Wow/OMG/Check This Out!”
- Update/download XYZ software
- You have won something!
- Please donate to XYZ charity!
To try and make emails look more authentic, phishers will copy and paste the logos of the company they are pretending to contact you from. As a result, the image can look low quality, an old logo or a smaller or larger sized icon than the genuine logo may be used and they can be poorly positioned on the email template.
Grammar and Spelling Errors
Telling signs of phishing emails are misspellings, grammatical errors or odd sounding sentences.
If it sounds wrong or unprofessional, it could be phishy!
If you have any suspicions, don’t click on it!
Malicious emails can contain embedded links. You should never click on this link unless you are 100% sure of the origin of the sender. You can, however, hover your mouse carefully over the link and it will show you the link’s URL.
If this URL is unrelated to the company that emailed, you know it’s a phishing email.
Phishing Email Example:
Contact Us Today!
To find out how you can mitigate phishing attempts and protect your business, contact us today to find more.