10 Tips to Identify a Phishing or Spoofing Email

2019-02-06T12:24:28+00:00 February 6th, 2019|Business Tips|

The more sophisticated technology becomes, the more sophisticated phishing attacks become. Between 2017 and 2018, global phishing attacks rose more than 80%, with the average user receiving 16 phishing emails per month and the average cost for a mid-size company being $1.6 million.

Unfortunately, with 97% of people around the globe unable to identify a sophisticated phishing email, these messages continue to be extremely effective no matter what an organization does.

That’s why employee education is so important to help combat the effectiveness of phishing emails.

1. Don’t believe everything you see

Phishers are extremely good at what they do. Just because an email has convincing brand logos, language, and a seemingly valid email address, doesn’t mean it’s legitimate. Be skeptical when it comes to your email messages—if it looks even remotely suspicious, don’t open it.

2. Look, but don’t click

Hover your mouse over any links embedded in the body of the email. If the link address looks weird, don’t click on it. If you want to test the link, open a new window and type in the website address directly rather than clicking on the link from unsolicited emails.

3. Don’t trust the header from email address

Fraudsters not only spoof brands in the display name, but also spoof brands in the header from email address.

4. Check for spelling mistakes

Brands are pretty serious about emails. Legitimate messages usually don’t have major spelling mistakes or poor grammar. Read your emails carefully and report anything that seems suspicious.

5. Don’t click on attachments (Maybe the most important tip of all)

Including malicious attachments that contain viruses and malware is a common phishing tactic. Malware can damage files on your computer, steal your passwords, or spy on you without your knowledge. Don’t open any email attachments you weren’t expecting.

6. Analyze the salutation

Is the email addressed to a vague “Valued Customer?” If so, watch out—legitimate businesses will often use a personal salutation with your first and last name.

7. Review the signature

Lack of details about the signer or how you can contact a company strongly suggests a phish. Legitimate businesses always provide contact details.

8. Don’t give up personal information

Legitimate banks and most other companies will never ask for personal credentials via email. Don’t give them up.

9. Beware of urgent or threatening language in the subject line

Invoking a sense of urgency or fear is a common phishing tactic. Beware of subject lines that claim your “account has been suspended” or your account had an “unauthorized login attempt.”

10. Don’t trust the display name

A favorite phishing tactic among cyber-criminals is to spoof the display name of an email. This fraudulent email, once delivered, appears legitimate because most user inboxes only present the display name. Don’t trust the display name. Check the email address in the header from—if it looks suspicious, don’t open the email.

About the Author: Solution Systems, Inc.

If you’re concerned about spoofing and phishing emails and would like help taking the proper security steps, call the Solution Systems, Inc. support team at 847-590-3000.

Solution Systems, Inc. is a Microsoft Gold Certified Dynamics and a Silver Midmarket Cloud Solutions partner and a leader in business solutions. For over 39 years, SSI has been offering, implementing, and supporting business solutions such as ERP, CRM, web development, and IT Infrastructure systems and support for manufacturing, distribution, and service businesses. They specialize in implementing and supporting Microsoft products.

About the Author: Solution Systems, Inc.

If you’re concerned about spoofing and phishing emails and would like help taking the proper security steps, call the Solution Systems, Inc. support team at 847-590-3000.

Solution Systems, Inc. is a Microsoft Gold Certified Dynamics and a Silver Midmarket Cloud Solutions partner and a leader in business solutions. For over 39 years, SSI has been offering, implementing, and supporting business solutions such as ERP, CRM, web development, and IT Infrastructure systems and support for manufacturing, distribution, and service businesses. They specialize in implementing and supporting Microsoft products.

Niki Blois Administrator
Digital Marketing Specialist | Century Business Solutions
Niki is a writer for Century Business Solutions covering integrated payments, credit card processing, and how to increase payment efficiency.