How To Identify A Phishing Email

In the previous episode of Coffee Break With Fuelled, we explored the basics of what phishing is and how it works.

Phishing is a method in which cybercriminals send fraudulent emails that appear to be from reputable sources in order to get recipients to reveal sensitive information and execute significant financial transfers. Phishing attacks are mass emails that request confidential information or credentials under pretenses, link to malicious websites, or include malware as an attachment.

In this week’s episode, we show you how to spot phishing emails — check out the video to discover more:

5 Key Identifiers Of Phishing Emails

  1. Too Good To Be True: Phishing emails often make lucrative offers to try to grab your attention and get you to click a link or download an attachment.
  2. Urgent and Threatening: If the subject line makes it sound like an emergency — “Your account has been suspended”, or “You’re being hacked” — that’s another red flag. It’s in the scammer’s interest to make you panic and move quickly, which might lead to you overlooking other indicators that it’s a phishing email.
  3. Suspicious Hyperlinks: Always be sure to hover your mouse over a link in an email before clicking it. That allows you to see where it actually leads. While it may look harmless, the actual URL may show otherwise, so always look, and rarely click.
  4. Attachments: Phishers will often try to get you to open an attachment, so, if you see an attachment in combination with any of the above indicators, it’s only more proof that the email is likely part of a phishing attempt.
  5. Unusual Sender: Whether it’s from someone you know or not, if the language is odd, the tone is off, or anything seems suspicious, don’t click the link or download the attachment. Always follow up with the sender via the phone or a direct email to verify their identity before taking any action.

In the end, the key to phishing methodology is that it doesn’t rely on digital security vulnerabilities or cutting edge hacking technology; phishing targets the user, who, without the right training, will always be a security risk, regardless of the IT measures set in place.

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Ernie Sherman

I have a strong passion for helping Ottawa Businesses, Entrepreneurs and professionals to become more productive and successful while allowing them to feel at ease and secure when it comes to their Information Technology needs. As the President of Fuelled Networks since 1998, I specialize in providing no-nonsense flawless and prompt technical support to Ottawa businesses, with in-depth consulting on Fortinet, Microsoft, Microsoft Cloud Stack and security. I strive to help businesses to succeed and take great pride in building long-lasting positive relationships and taking on a strong leadership role within the Ottawa community.