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Top Tips to Help You Identify a Phishing Email

By Tim Hall, Blue Logic.

Cybercrime is on the rise, organisations and small businesses especially need to be savvy about how to keep their business secure.

Cybercriminals are not only looking to exploit weaknesses in your systems, they are looking to exploit you and your awareness on identifying fake emails. We’re forever hearing in the news about fake email scams that have been sent looking like they are from brands (e.g. Amazon, Netflix) and demanding personal information from consumers.

Fake scam emails are sent by cybercriminals where they use their persuasive powers to lure people into a false sense of security to hand over personal information, click a link or download a document that causes information to be stolen.

Methods are being put in place to reduce the number of phishing emails sent. The National Cyber Security Centre highlighted more than 746,000 phishing emails pretending to be from the NHS in 2017 were blocked in just one month. However, although work is being done to reduce the number of phishing emails that are sent, it is still a huge problem for most organisations.

You and your employees could be, without knowing it, putting your business in danger by clicking on these emails. Not all of them are obviously fraudulent, we help you recognise how you can identify a phishing email, to keep ensure you keep your business secure.

Top tips:

  1. Don’t assume that emails you have been sent are from the person they claim to be. If the email looks suspicious, it is likely their account has been hacked.
  2. Is the greeting impersonal? Increasingly you will notice that scammers are getting better at sending emails which include our name in the first line of the message. However, not all of them do.
  3. If you are asked to make a payment or give away your personal details it’s important you are cautious. Most companies will NOT ask you to make a payment over an email.
  4. Check the branding. Scam emails are often pretending to be from big brands or from trusted government departments. Keep an eye on the quality of branded logos.
  5. Ignore links and attachments. Computer viruses can find their way onto your computer by scammers tricking you into installing them. If you suspect an email might be fraudulent do not click on any links or download any attachments.
  6. If it is spam you may notice a lot of incorrect spelling and grammar. If organisations are sending mass emails to customers these tend to have been proofed, eliminating any small mistakes.
  7. Links in the email will not be how you expect them to look. They may include many cryptic numbers and letters. Authentic website addresses are usually short and will not include random numbers and letters that are not clear to read.

When it comes to phishing emails, the best approach is to ignore them and not acknowledge with a response. It’s vital you are always vigilant regarding any email messages requesting payment or sensitive information.

To find out more information about how to keep your business secure, get in touch with Blue Logic today.