5 Tips to Spot a Phishing Email

phishing email
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Last Updated on 18th June 2019

Phishing is one of the biggest issues for cyber security at the moment. Phishing is essentially where you receive emails from someone pretending to be someone else. For example, they could masquerade as your bank or PayPal asking you for personal information.

You could also receive a spear phishing email which is more targeted. In this instance, you might get an email that appears to be from someone you know, for example if you work in Accounts you may receive an email off the Managing Director asking you to pay a bill which doesn’t exist or open an attachment that has a virus. Phishing is something that we have to be constantly on the look out for, here are our top 5 tips to spot a phishing email.

spot a phishing email

No Signature

If the person who has emailed you usually has a signature and it’s not there this is a warning sign as the email has not come from its usual source. Contact the person in a different way such as a phone call, text or even face to face if they are in your office and make sure before you reply.

Spelling Mistakes

Spelling mistakes are usually a big giveaway on phishing emails. If an email from Lloyds Bank is full of spelling mistakes you can bet that it’s probably not Lloyds Bank that has sent it to you.

Mismatched URLs

Phishing emails often contain links. If you hover over the link it will show you the actual hyperlinked address. If the two don’t match it’s suspicious and we wouldn’t recommend clicking on the link.

Misleading Domain Names

The email may say that it has come from John Smith but does the actual email address match up with that? We have seen both phishing and spear phishing emails with domain names in the email address that are quite obviously not legitimate. Transactionsafetypost@mail.com is quite obviously not PayPal’s email address.

It's Irrelevant

You’re unlikely to register for an Apple or Amazon account to your work email unless its part of your job to use their services, so if you receive an email at work from them then you should be suspicious. It’s the same as when you’re told you have won the lottery but you haven’t bought a ticket. You haven’t initiated any interaction with that organisation so there is no reason for them to contact you.

Our video below shows you just how easy it is to send a phishing email.

If you’re at all concerned about phishing or cyber security then please do not hesitate to get in touch with ACUTEC for IT support.