One in 99 emails sent is a phishing attack. So, what is phishing? Phishing is the fraudulent attempt by cyber criminals to collect sensitive information online by pretending to be trustworthy.
So, what do you need to look out for? Here are a few simple points to look out for when checking if an email is fake.
1. Always check the grammar and spelling
Dear ebay Costumer vs Dear eBay Customer
So, what is wrong with the above? Just a typo maybe? Yeah, sure everyone is guilty of sending the odd email without triple checking the spelling but if this kind of mistake is something that does not normally happen from the sender in question, then it should be your first red flag. Any legitimate agency sending marketing or financial emails should review their emails before sending.
2. Is it screaming URGENT at you? Are things usually that URGENT?!
Emails that scream for urgent attention and they urgently need you to do something should always be reviewed with caution. Not many legitimate companies would use such language and they would not urgently ask for you to give any information away. For example, an email that shouts about how you urgently need to pay an invoice and asks for you to follow a link to do so, is an email you should instantly check with the sender and with your IT team.
3. Legitimate companies will never ask for sensitive information via email.
A genuine company will not ask for you to provide or enter any sensitive information via an email address. Its as simple as that. If an email asks for your log in details or bank details or provides a link and asks you to provide the details into that link. Don’t trust it without contacting the organisation and confirming.
4. Hyperlinks, are they correct?
Sometimes companies do need to send a hyperlink in an email. But is the hyperlink correct? You may see ‘www.sa1solutions.com’ written on an email but is the link attached to that text the same hyperlink?
A hyperlink can be added to any item of content, for example if you click on this word ‘CONTACT SA1’ that will lead you to the contact us page of the SA1 website. Does the text say www.sa1solutions.com/contact-us ? No, but it leads you there as this link is hyperlinked to the words ‘CONTACT SA1’. So how do you check if a link is correct without clicking on it? Simply hover the mouse over the word and the link attached will appear. If there is anything suspicious in the link don’t click on it.
5. This may seem obvious but is the sender address correct?
In this day and age everyone is always extremely busy, many glance at an email coming in and see the organisation name and assume its legitimate, but is it? Look again, look closely, is it the same as a previous email you have had? Or the same as the domain used on their website?
firstname.lastname@example.org vs info@.paypal.com
But what to do if you think you may have already been fooled by a spam email? If you suspect you may have clicked on a link or forwarded an email that contains spam, then immediately change your password. Change your password for the email account in question, contact your IT department and any individuals you may have forwarded the email to. By changing your password instantly you should prevent the hacker from gaining any more access to your network, but you must inform IT as soon as possible so they can do a full analysis to determine if any malware has made its way into your business and put a stop to it getting any further.
Don’t have an IT department? Even if you are not yet a customer of SA1, we are here for you. Contact us now and our engineers will be there to support you in any situation.
email@example.com or call on 01792 464242
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