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Identify Phishing Emails

Identify Phishing Emails

Phishing emails, or email scams are not new to the world of the internet. The only difference between scams now and scams sum 20 years ago is the frequency of occurring as well as how easy it is to fall for them! – The scammers have evolved with the times.

It is important to be able to recognize a phishing email to prevent clicking on malicious links or accidentally giving a malicious entity access to your personal computer and the information within it.

How to identify phishing emails

The first step to identifying a phishing email is the domain the email was sent from. I.e. from a @gmail email stating to be from Google is a red flag.

Note the domain name

If the domain name (the bit after the @ symbol) matches the apparent sender of the email, the message is probably legitimate.ie Support@paypal.com the @paypal indicates that the email is coming from a PayPal registered domain and can be trusted. An email coming from paypal@notice-access-273.com is not an official email registered on the PayPal domain and you should refrain from engaging with the email sent by them.

The domain name is misspelt. Carefully note the spelling in the domain as it may be spelt very similarly enough to pass at a glance but is not spelt correctly and therefore is an indicator of foul play.

The body of the email is not professional or polished

The email is poorly written. It will usually be filled with grammatical errors and spelling mistakes. Official emails coming from “Microsoft” for instance will have a perfectly typed email with perfect English and grammar to maintain their professionalism. More advanced phishers will use a spellchecker to that check the spelling is appropriate so the most effective indicator of a phishing email is the grammatical errors and the spellchecker will not pick it up.

Generally contain links and clickable attachments

It includes suspicious attachments or links. Regardless of how the phishing is taking place, i.e. Instagram or Facebook messages or email, they all contain a payload. This will either be an infected attachment that you’re asked to download or a link to a malicious website.

Do not click on links from emails or private messages from people you are not familiar with!

Urgent Call-To-Actions

The body of the mail or message has a particular sense of urgency. They will generally insist an immediate action to prevent a negative consequence. I.e. an email from the bank asking for the account details and existing password as well as a new password for the account as the bank account has been “hacked.” Generally tricking the receiver into an impulsive reaction to prevent their bank from being accessed by someone else, but unfortunately, they just end up giving their details to someone else.

Example of a phishing email

If you are one of the unfortunate users who have fallen victim to such atrocities, give us a call and we can help you rectify the issue. Contact us here.

Our first line of advice will be to change the passwords on every program/software/platform that you utilize on your personal computer.

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