7 Top Tips To Help You Identify A Phishing Email

Tim Hall, Head of Innovation

Cybercriminals are not only looking to exploit weaknesses in your systems, they are looking to exploit you and your awareness on identifying fake emails. We’re constantly hearing in the news about fake email scams that have been sent looking like they are from brands (e.g. Amazon, Netflix) and demanding personal information from consumers.

 

Phishing emails are sent by cybercriminals where they use their persuasive powers to lure people into a false sense of security to hand over personal information, click a link or download a document that causes information to be stolen or corrupt.

Methods are being put in place to reduce the number of phishing emails sent. The National Cyber Security Centre highlighted more than 746,000 phishing emails pretending to be from the NHS in 2017 were blocked in just one month. However, although work is being done to reduce the number of phishing emails that are sent, it is still a huge problem for most organisations.

Here are our 7 top tips to help you spot a phishing email:

  1. Don’t assume that emails you have been sent are from the person they claim to be. If the email looks suspicious, it is likely their account has been hacked.
  2. Is the greeting impersonal? Increasingly you will notice that scammers are getting better at sending emails which include our name. However, not all of them do.
  3. If you are asked to make a payment or give away your personal details it’s important you are cautious. Most companies will NOT ask you to make a payment over an email.
  4. Check the branding. Scam emails are often pretending to be from big brands or from trusted government departments. Keep an eye on the quality of branded logos.
  5. Ignore links and attachments. Computer viruses can find their way onto your computer by scammers tricking you into installing them. If you suspect an email might be fraudulent do not click on any links or download any attachments.
  6. If it is spam you may notice a lot of incorrect spelling and grammar. If organisations are sending mass emails to customers these tend to have been proofed, eliminating any small mistakes.
  7. Links in the email will not be how you expect them to look. They may include many cryptic numbers and letters. Authentic website addresses are usually short and will not include random numbers and letters that are not clear to read.

How KnowBe4 can prevent a cyberattack: 

Cybercrime has gone professional over the last 5 years. Attacks have become much more sophisticated and intense. The cyber-attackers are now going after your employees to ‘socially engineer’ (manipulate) your employees to click on a malicious link or open an infected attachment.  In this way, employees can be the weakest link when it comes to network security, so it’s important they receive effective security awareness training that leaves them thinking on their toes with security top of mind! Partnering with KnowBe4 allows us to offer tailored and effective security training for your workforce, ensuring your employees understand the mechanisms of spam, phishing, malware, ransomware and social engineering and can apply this knowledge in their day-to-day job. Take a look at how we're keeping cyber attacks out of our clients businesses.

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