Go Phish! 4 Different Ways to ID Phishing Emails
As they say, there are plenty of fish in the sea. The last thing you want to find in your inbox, though, is a phish (as opposed to, you know, everyday business emails).
Phishing scams are on the rise, and they’re not nearly as fun to deal with as a day on the lake with your dad. Not only that but with an increased number of bots making their way across the Internet, over half of emails received daily are spam.
How can you differentiate between a phishing email and an email from a potential client?
A few dead giveaways will help you throw the nastier phish back into the water.
Hey, That’s Private
Emails from legitimately interested consumers or your business peers don’t always have a template, but they won’t breach some topics. These include requests for personal or private information. No peer or tool that you utilize should send you an email requesting that you reply with your password, credit card number, or consumers’ financial data.
If you receive an email asking you to send along this kind of information, know that you should probably find a home for it in your spam folder.
Check the Domains
Some phishermen will go to great lengths to imitate the domain names of the platforms they’re trying to disguise themselves as. If you suspect that one of your emails is part of a scam, check its domain. There may be minor changes in the email address that sets a scammer apart from legitimate sources.
That said, you won’t be able to use the domain check to determine whether potential consumers are trustworthy.
Consider the grammar and spelling of an email. While everyone makes a mistake now and then, scammers typically use form emails that have notable mistakes interwoven into them. If you spot more than one or two, though, or sense that the tone of your newest email doesn’t read quite right, then let it fall by the wayside.
Pathos and the Phishy Nature of Panic
Phishing emails are also designed to make you panic. Scammers want to make you nervous so that they can move in and “protect” you. If you receive an email that seems especially inflammatory, look it over carefully. Anyone demanding immediate action on your part needs to be treated with extra caution.
Avoid Unwanted Attachments
Finally, never download an attachment from a stranger. That may seem like basic internet smarts, but it’s easy to forget. If someone is reaching out to you for the first time, use your computer’s anti-virus software to assess the safety of any documents or files sent your way. The last thing you want to deal with is a virus holding your essential data hostage.
Not all new emails are part of a scam. Even so, you need to treat newcomers to your inbox with caution if you want your private and business data to remain safe. When in doubt over the safety of an email, do as the fish do and keep swimming by.
Image attribution: Amy Walters – stock.adobe.com