How To Spot A Phishing Email

SPAAR - 02/01/2023

Identifying a phishing email can be difficult, but it is critical to protect yourself from malicious attacks.

Phishing is an attempt by hackers and cybercriminals to trick you into providing private information such as passwords, credit card numbers, and account numbers. To protect yourself, here are some tips on how to spot a phishing email.


1 - Check The Sender’s Address

Be wary of unfamiliar emails or ones that appear suspicious (e.g., containing random characters or symbols). If they seem off even slightly, don’t open them! Also, look out for generic phrases like “Dear [First Name]” because legitimate senders will usually have your name spelled correctly or at least use your full name rather than just one part of it.


2 - Look For Typos

Fraudsters may rush through creating their phishing campaigns in order to carry out their attacks quickly before being discovered so there might be typos or grammatical errors present in the email that wouldn't be there if the sender was legitimate. Sloppy grammar and spelling is a good indicator that something isn't quite right!


3 - Beware of Urgent Requests

Often these requests will involve asking for immediate personal/sensitive information such as financial details which legitimate organizations would never do since this could leave you at risk of identity theft and other frauds. Look out for language such as “You must respond immediately” as well as requests telling you to click on links within the text body. Hovering over the link with your cursor should reveal its true destination address before clicking on it (it should match up with what's stated in the text).


4 - Ask Yourself Whether Or Not It Makes Sense

Suddenly receiving an unexpected message about something you haven't yet done? That's often a good sign that something dodgy is going on. Stop now before taking further action so that no harm comes from clicking onto anything else included within/linked from within said message! Remember: when in doubt delete. Nothing sent via email needs immediate attention so take time away from rushing into replying straight away.  Double-checking URLs against official websites helps avoid a phishing email scam!


Take Your Time

Overall, spotting a suspicious/phishing message requires vigilance and caution when dealing with emails received online so while quick openings might save time initially, taking 10 extra seconds scanning an individual message thoroughly beforehand could save hours down the line dealing with potential issues caused by malicious software embedded in the message.

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