Everyone we know has fallen for email fraud since it is one of the most common forms of cyberattacks in the world today. Receivers of spam emails are often manipulated into fake correspondence that can lead to carefully constructed phishing websites. If you are running a business and you haven’t trained your employees, we advise you to keep reading to learn the best ways to spot phishing emails.
According to Statista, there have been around 1802 cases reported by US companies whose cybersecurity was impacted. This means that the large amount of data stored in their system was breached; their sensitive information was accessed by an unauthorized person.
This could also lead to consumers losing trust in businesses: a study showed that 83% of consumers in the US stopped doing business with companies months after they experienced a security breach. Hence, along with your private information being breached, you are also losing your customers’ trust.
There are hundreds of security measures you can put in place so that the company’s information doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. For instance, one of the major telecom companies in the US, Xfinity, has implemented advanced security features in internet modems for Xfinity internet customers.
This security feature allows the device to monitor internet traffic for any unknown threats. As a result, customers start to build their trust with the brand, and in turn, that helps Xfinity to improve customer relationships. Also, providing 24/7 Xfinity customer service and technical support allows them to further gain their trust.
Moving on, educating yourself and your employees about phishing emails will help your business to avoid any cyberattacks on your system:
How to Spot Phishing Emails?
It’s easy to identify phishing emails if you know what to look for. The purpose of phishing emails is to trick or manipulate the receiver into giving up sensitive information or clicking on a sketchy link that can download malware into the system. Scammers send thousands of emails, hoping that users will fall for them.
Although your email service provider has a system in place that scans any suspicious emails and filters them, they can get a little overzealous. That’s why it’s good to scan them manually too. Check out this example to understand how to spot phishing emails:
You receive an email from [email protected] that is flagged as spam by the email provider:
My name is Hannah Abbot and I represent Amazon.
We are currently designing a new product and we need testers. We are interested in you as a candidate for our experiment.
Reach out to us at our Facebook page: [www.facebook.com/hannah.abbot]
This email raises the following questions:
- How do we know that this email is from Amazon? You can clearly spot it from the sender’s email address: [email protected]. If the email was from Amazon, it would have Amazon after the ‘@’, not ‘totalymoney’.
- The email address contains the name ‘Joey Patterson’, yet in the email, the sender is introducing themselves as ‘Hannah Abbot’.
- Why does Hannah want you, the recipient, as a candidate? What makes her think that you are suitable as a tester?
- What is the new product? There’s no further information about it, and scam messages are often vague.
- The sender is asking the recipient to click on the link to a Facebook page that looks like her personal account and not the Amazon official Facebook page.
The above-mentioned points already give us the idea that there is something fishy about the email. Immediately delete such emails, and do not click on any links given, even if it seems like a Facebook page. Clicking on links can download a virus onto your computer.
Other Signs To Keep in Mind
Check out the four important things you need to keep in mind to spot a phishing email in your inbox:
- An Unfamiliar Tone: reading the email arouses suspicion because you feel that the tone and language being used aren’t right. Receiving an email from a colleague or family member would feel familiar. Or, in another scenario, you receive an email from your colleague with “Dear Harry,” and that would raise a flag because your colleague has never begun the email with the word “Dear”.
- Grammar/Spelling Errors: these are very common in a phishing email. You should have a spellcheck feature in your system that will let you know if the email has spelling or grammar errors. Otherwise, an email from an authentic source should be devoid of any such errors.
- Inconsistencies in Email Addresses/Links: discrepancies in the email address or the links being shared are also very easy to spot. It is worth checking if the person who claims to belong to an organization is the real one: check online for the organization’s email addresses, social media pages (if links are shared), etc. If the person claims to be from PayPal or Amazon, but the domain doesn’t match, that’s a definite giveaway.
- Unusual Request: oftentimes, phishing emails have unusual requests that the sender is asking you to carry out, such as asking you for private bank information (banks would never ask in an email), participating in their experiment (as already discussed in the above example), telling you to download a file onto your computer (verify the file and sender first).
Your company must be aware of any cybersecurity threats, or in this case, phishing emails: You need to train your employees to learn more about phishing scams, as it would be incredibly profitable for your business. This will prevent any cyber threats from attacking your system and taking your sensitive data as well as allow you to maintain your relationship with your customers.