Phishing is among the most common trends that cybercriminals use to target unsuspecting victims. Reports suggest that phishing is increasingly becoming common, with hackers and scammers targeting businesses and individuals. Despite how much you think you know about scam emails, you can still fall victim to phishing.
In this article, we help you understand phishing, including how you can recognize and prevent the attacks.
How can you recognize phishing?
Scammers use text messages or emails to trick unsuspecting victims into giving out personal information, such as passwords and account numbers. But how can you recognize phishing and distinguish it from a legit message or email? Find out below.
Emails sent from a public email domain
If you receive an email from any organization with an address that ends with @gmail.com, then it is not legit. Most organizations use their own email domains and accounts. Always check to see if the email domain is public.
Misspelled domain name
Everyone can purchase a domain name. Accordingly, every domain must be unique and distinguishable. The problem is that hackers use almost similar domains to trick you. For instance, there might be a slight misspelling in the domain name to make it look legit.
If you notice any misspelling in the domain name, know the sender is not legit.
Poorly written email
It is easier to tell if an email is a scam by looking at the grammar. Organizations do not make spelling errors and grammar mistakes in their emails directed to clients and email subscribers. Therefore, any site of such errors should be a red flag.
Emails requesting sensitive information
Any time you receive an unsolicited email from an organization requesting sensitive information, the chances are it is a scam. Legit companies will not ask for your passwords or credit card information.
Emails that do not address you by your name
Have you ever realized that Google and other legit companies start their emails by addressing you with your name? On the other hand, phishing emails will use a generic salutation, such as “dear customer.”
Emails with suspicious links and attachments
Phishing emails are more likely to include suspicious links or attachments. The attachment may be infected, that once you download it or open the link, you put your sensitive information at risk.
A legit email from any authentic organization will not include links to bogus websites or attachments.
Emails with urgent messages
Scammers understand that you might notice things that do not seem right when given enough time. Therefore, they tend to create a sense of urgency in their messages. Any time you receive a text or email requesting you to “act now,” take your time and review again before you fall victim to phishing.
How can you protect yourself from phishing attacks?
Email spam filters are designed to keep phishing emails out of your inbox. However, scammers are becoming more innovative and smarter by the day. That is why you should add a layer of protection. Here are ways to protect yourself from phishing attacks.
- Use security software to protect your computers
- Set automatic software updates to protect your devices.
- Use multi-factor authentication to protect your accounts.
- Backup your data
It does not matter how secure you think your systems are. Hackers and scammers only need one chance to attack and cause damage. Ensure you understand how phishing works and how you can protect your company from cybercriminals.