Case Study

How to Identify a Phishing Email

Phishing has always been and likely always will be one of the most popular methods for cyber criminals to infect unsuspecting victims with malware. Too many people today aren’t cautious enough when they see an email that doesn’t look quite right, especially at work when there are many other things going on. Identifying a phishing email isn’t typically challenging, but it does require some awareness on the recipient’s part. As a business owner, part of your proactive IT management strategy should be to educate your employees on how to identify a phishing email, or at least knowing when to be suspicious about any given email. Here are some tips that likely signify a phishing email.

Look At The Email Address

One technique cyber criminals use is sending emails from a name you’re familiar with. You may receive an email that looks like it came from your co-worker or boss, but if anything at all seems sketchy about the request in the email, take a look at the email address. Hackers will often trick recipients by using a familiar name, but the email address they send it from will be a sure sign that it’s phishing. If you’re not thinking about it, you could open up an attachment, click a link or provide confidential information not even knowing it’s fake.

You’re Asked To Confirm Information

Whether an email comes from an individual, another company, a client or anyone else, users should always be suspicious when asked to confirm confidential information over email. If you receive an email like this, report it to your 24/7 computer support service to identify and confirm that it’s not a legitimate email. The type of information that should never be asked for via email is banking information, social security numbers, login information, company information or any other sensitive information.

Suspicious Links or Attachments

Nothing will put your disaster recovery plan into action like clicking on a malicious link or attachment. It could easily contain a trojan virus and infect your entire system in a matter of seconds. No matter how busy you are at work, take an extra couple of seconds to look at any attachment or link that seems out of place, oddly named or suspicious in any other way. Your disaster recovery plan should minimize damage if you accidentally open them, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Threatening or Poorly Written Emails

Many phishing emails will threaten the recipient in order to instill fear and prompt them to provide the requested information based on the fear. Legitimate companies or individuals won’t threaten you in this manner, so there is a high probability the email is from a cyber criminal and should be deleted immediately.

Another way to identify a phishing email is by looking at the language within it. Cyber criminals do a great job of making emails look legitimate with company logos and signature blocks, but real companies won’t make obvious typographical errors or have poor grammar. These are sure signs the email can simply be deleted.

Single Point of Contact helps business owners develop a proactive IT management strategy to protect their organization as much as possible. Even if your employees know exactly what a phishing email looks like, accidents happen that can lead to the need for a disaster recovery plan. We will work with you to develop the best strategies possible to protect your organization and minimize damage in the event of a cyber attack. To learn more about how our services can help you, don’t hesitate to contact us at any time.

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