Cyber attacks

5 Ways to Spot a Phishing Email

Phishing attack explained 

The phishing attack is a common type of cyber attack. The attackers are attempting to make you take one of the next actions: 

  • Enter data. You could be guided to a fraudulent site. It is very similar to a well-known one and asks you to fill in data (passwords, usernames, emails, and bank information).
  • Download a file. The file could be a virus that can harm your device.

Types of phishing attacks

The message usually appears normal, and it could be tough to notice something is wrong. Typically, it includes something that the victim wants, such as free software or something they have to go, like changing a password in a certain amount of time. 

This strategy has been used for a long time. Also, the term “phish” points to the way we lure a fish with bait.

How to spot a phishing email?

It wants you to verify personal information. If the email looks authentic, but it requires from you data that you usually wouldn’t expect. That for sure is a sign that the email is from an untrusted source.

Keep an eye out for emails asking you to verify private information that you would never normally give. For example, it could be banking details or login information. Remember not to reply or click on any links. If you think that the email has a possibility to be genuine, first contact the company. Still, don’t use any method for communication given in the email. Instead, search online, and if you could make a telephone call.

The email address doesn’t seem genuine

Often a phishing email could arrive from an email address that looks reliable. Attackers do their best to trick their victims by using the names of legitimate companies inside the message or in the web address.

Just take a moment to examine the email address fully. You might see that it is a false variation designed to appear authentic.

Also, before clicking on any links, make sure to inspect them first.

Poor language

You can detect a phishing email by the poor writing used in the message. If there are spelling and grammatical mistakes and unusual twists of phrases, that is a secure sign. Legitimate companies make sure to send professionally written and checked adequately for mistakes emails. An unexpected email from an organization with mistakes is a sure indicator that is phishing.

Suspicious attachment

If a company sends you an email of the blue with an attachment, be aware it could be a malicious URL or a virus. The goal could be to infect your device or network.

The intention is to make you panic.

A common characteristic of phishing emails is to insert panic in the recipient. It could be a claim that your account is compromised, and the way to validate it is to enter personal information. Another case could be an urgency that if you don’t act immediately, your account will be deleted. Take a minute to think if this email is asking for something reasonable from you. 

How to protect yourself from phishing attacks?

Security improvement – Phishing occurs through emails. Apply MTA-STS, DMARC, DKIM, SPF. They are email authentication practices for recognizing and preventing messaging threats.

Anti-spam filters – Filtering is a great option for distinguishing undesired and infected emails and preventing them from arriving in inboxes.

Two-factor authentication (2FA) – The standard combination of username and password is not so reliable. So to stop spoofed accounts, attach one more level of security with 2FA. People will have to verify their individuality by a second attempt to receive access.

Virus detection and clearing – Effective antivirus software could keep your devices without threats. Still, understand that phishing can attack your employees as a method to get to your company’s sensitive data.

Recommended article: 5 of the biggest DDoS attacks in recent years