What is a Phishing Email?

Have you heard about phishing emails but you aren’t quite sure what they are?

Phishing emails attempt to get you to reveal sensitive information by disguising themselves as someone you can trust, such as a reputable company, your employer, or maybe your bank. The message usually has a sense of urgency to it to try to get you to act quickly or induce a feeling of panic.

The links they try to get you to click on typically contain malware meant to damage or disable your computer, which is why it is so important to think before you click.

Related: Get Your Copy of Our White Paper

Here is a list of a few ways to identify a phishing email.

  1. MISSPELLING OR WRONG VOICE If something just seems off about the way the email is written, or if you notice misspellings and bad grammar, this should be the first sign something is amiss.
  2. INTIMIDATION TACTICS It is common among these types of emails to use threatening phrases such as “your account will be closed” or “your payment is due today” in an attempt  to get an emotional reaction that will result in you falling for the scam.
  3. SUSPICIOUS LINKS If there is a link within the email you are not expecting, or seems strange, or is misspelled, just don’t click on it.
  4. NAME CHECK Is the email from someone you don’t know? Definitely don’t click on any links, or supply any information that is asked for from someone you aren’t familiar with.

What do you do if you suspect an email is a phishing attempt? Here are a few suggestions.

  1. JUST ASK In some cases, the easiest thing to do is to contact the person, or company the email is said to have originated from to attempt to verify its credibility.
  2. DON’T FALL FOR THE PRESSURE Take a minute to think before you click. Is this email legitimate? Does it make sense? Go through each of the points above before clicking on anything.
  3. HOVER If you are suspicious of a link within an email you can hover your mouse over the link to reveal the address it will direct you to. If is doesn’t match, or is a strange mix of characters, it may be malicious.
  4. MAKE THE CALL If you really can’t determine if the email is legit, or you accidentally click on the link, make the call to a professional, like Quanexus, for help.

Related: Consider Security Awareness Training for your whole team

How to spot phishing email infographic

Phishing email infographic

It is always safer and smarter to think before clicking than to get caught up in the urgency of the scam and risk infecting your computer.

Quanexus offers suggestions on other ways you can strengthen your security posture, along with real life stories of examples of what can happen, in our white paper. Download your free copy.

If you would like more information, contact us here or call 937.885.7272.

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Posted by Jack Gerbs