Phishing emails are one of the easiest cyberattacks carried out. This makes them extremely widespread and more likely than not, you’ve encountered them sometime in your life.
In this post, you’ll learn about (or perhaps be reminded of) some of the most common phishing email tell-tale signs. But first, let’s explain what a phishing email is.
What’s a Phishing Email?
Phishing emails are scams carried out by criminals attempting to trick their targets into divulging sensitive information such as bank account numbers, passwords, and credit card numbers.
These emails typically carry malicious attachments or instruct you to click on a link which, in response, spreads malware through your system.
Cybercriminals also like to prey on things like seasonal occasions, natural disasters, trending news, etc. to lure users into opening these malicious emails.
The 5 Tell-Tale Signs of a Phishing Email:
1. Emails that look very similar to official organisation or branches of an organisation.
Always, always, always check the name of the email sender. Wombat Security, a division of Proofpoint, reported that most successful phishing scams tend to be disguised as emails coming from HR or other organizational structure.Scammers rely on the fact that many people don’t take a close enough look at emails addresses to notice subtle differences between scam emails and official emails for legitimate organisations. Be wary if the email is not familiar to you. And know that legitimate companies never ask you for your passwords over email or anything else.
2. Links you do not recognise – Don’t Click!
Again, phishing emails rely on a person’s likelihood to not look too closely at key information in an email such as email address and links. Phishing emails will often contain URLs that take you to a trap site. These URLs will look very similar to the URLs of well-known organizations. So look closely before inputting any sensitive personal data or otherwise.
3.Watch out for POOR Spelling and Grammar.
And the theme of paying very close attention to details continues. If you look closer, you would notice a common thread between most phishing emails. This thread typically comes in the form of spelling and grammatical mistakes. If you receive an email riddled with poor grammar and spelling, assume it’s spam.
4. Emails conveying URGENCY❗
If you receive an email stuffed with urgent language such as “you’re account is being closed!”, “urgent action required!”, assume it’s spam. This particular template attempts to provoke your sense of anxiety and urgency. Many victims end up being lured in by this language and divulging their sensitive information before coming to their senses and seeing the trap.
5. Below are some run-of-the-mill phishing email red flags you generally need to watch out for:
To recap, phishing emails are cyber attacks by criminals posing as legitimate contacts who attempt to swindle you of sensitive personal information for financial gains. You are the weakest link and criminals rely on your lack of attention to detail as the final hurdle to overcome.
In this post, we outlined a few of the most common phishing email tell-tale signs. We also recommend you frequently visit phishing.org for the most up-to-date information on this topic as it’s an ever-changing and evolving cybercrime.
Note: GAT+ won’t stop spam or phishing emails, but if one gets in, it lets Admins remove them from every account on your G Suite domain.
Ask us how GAT+ can protect your organization from phishing emails here.
I am an Arab digital marketer based in Ireland with my Belgian partner.