Top tips for spotting a phishing email

Top tips for spotting a phishing email

Have you heard the term ‘phishing email’ but aren’t entirely sure what it is or what it means?  Think of it this way, phishy = fishy.

These phishy (aka bad) emails are sent to inboxes all over the world, every single day.  The good news is some are really obvious looking and we know to hit delete and avoid them at all costs, whereas some look more legitimate and can cause major issues for many people.

Thanks to Tech Republic, here are 10 top tips for spotting a phishing email:

  1. Does the message contain a mismatched URL? – Hover over any URLs in your email (DO NOT CLICK THEM), does the hyperlink destination differ from that specified? If so, it could be malicious.
  2. Repeating the above, what does the last part of the domain name say (to the right side)? For example, Microsoft.com/phishingemail suggests the email is risky unlike Microsoft.com which appears more secure.
  3. Humans make mistakes, including spelling and grammar however is your email full of grammatical errors? If so, avoid.
  4. Be aware of emails asking for personal information, especially passwords and bank details.
  5. ‘Spend £5 and get £10,000 free’…if only! Be cautious of offers seeming too good to be true.
  6. When an email tells you ‘you’ve won the lottery’, think whether you actually initiated the action that would lead to this outcome – did you actually purchase a lottery ticket in the first place?
  7. Scammers may make it appear as though you are receiving a product or service for free, then simply ask for ‘expenses’ to be covered. Please be very cautious of these.
  8. Beware of unrealistic threats. Scammers will use scare mongering tactics to push you to take action.
  9. Not all scammers will appear as a bank or ask for money. They may appear as a government agency or similar to try and make you have confidence in the email.
  10. Trust your gut instinct – if you feel something just isn’t quite right, then chances are it may not be. If in doubt, seek advice from your IT contact.  Don’t be a victim – stay safe from the scammers.

(http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/10-things/10-tips-for-spotting-a-phishing-email/)

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