Would You Know A Phishing Email If You Saw One?

Businesswoman Identifying Phishing Email

Can You Spot A Phishing Email?

“Phishing” attacks are mass emails that request confidential information or credentials under pretenses, link to malicious websites or include malware as an attachment.

The average phishing attack costs businesses $1.6 million. The problem with the ongoing increase in the occurrence of cybercrime incidents is that you get desensitized to the whole thing. The fact is that businesses aren’t learning to protect themselves, which is why the number of reported phishing attacks has gone up by 65% in the past few years.

Phishing Is Evolving

“Vishing” is one of the latest variants of phishing being tracked by cybersecurity professionals. Instead of attaching malware to an email and disguising it as say a PDF, cybercriminals specifically disguise it as an audio file, and make it so the email appears to be from an automated voicemail service.

These legitimate services are more and more common in the business world today. When a user receives a voicemail, they also get an accompanying email with a recording of the message for them to review without having to access their voicemail inbox.

What Does A Phishing Email Look Like?

Make sure that you and your staff are on the lookout for suspicious emails, as they are likely part of a phishing scam – but how can you know for sure?

  • Watch For Overly Generic Content And Greetings: Cybercriminals will send a large batch of emails. Look for examples like “Dear valued customer.”
  • Examine The Entire From Email Address: The first part of the email address may be legitimate, but the last part might be off by a letter or may include a number in the usual domain.
  • Look For Urgency Or Demanding Actions: “You’ve won! Click here to redeem a prize,” or “We have your browser history pay now or we are telling your boss.”
  • Carefully Check All Links: Mouse over the link and see if the link’s destination matches where the email implies you will be taken.
  • Notice Misspellings, Incorrect Grammar, & Odd Phrasing: This might be a deliberate attempt to try and bypass spam filters.
  • Don’t Click On Attachments Right Away: Virus containing attachments might have an intriguing message encouraging you to open them such as “Here is the Schedule I promised.”

When you’re not sure if you have the skills or knowledge to get the job done, what can you do? Work with an expert cybersecurity team – Elevate Services Group.

In honor of Cyber Security Awareness Month, Elevate Services Group is offering a free cybersecurity consultation – contact kyle@elevateservicesgroup.com to claim yours.

Like this article? Check out the following blogs to learn more:

The New Ways Cybercriminals Pose a Threat to Organizations

Are You Keeping Up With FINRA’s Cybersecurity Best Practices?

Using Managed IT Services to Save You Money