What is Phishing?
Phishing is a common term used to describe a fraudulent attempt to steal sensitive user data such as passwords, credit card information, login credentials, etc. Similar to the words “fishing” because the attackers are fishing for user’s data. Over the years, Phishing has taken on many forms from fake social media accounts, email scams to spoof webpages.
Cyber Attackers are getting more advanced with their email phishing scams, decreasing the chances of victims catching on. Here are 5 tell-tale signs of a conventional phishing email.
- The most typical sign of a phishing email is an illegitimate sender email. Attackers often use fake accounts with recognizable company names, but unusual email conventions like – firstname.lastname@example.org. Check a company’s email naming convention on the official company website or from previous correspondence before responding.
- Impersonal greetings are another sign of a phishing email. Because attackers are generating hundreds of thousands of emails from compromised accounts, but because they typically do not have the receivers name, it is common that the phishing email greeting would be very generic. If you receive a suspicious email, be sure to check the greeting to ensure its legitimacy.
- As phishing emails attacks have evolved, now many include an urgent request. These requests usually have some financial obligation like purchasing gift cards, wiring money, or sharing bank information. Other urgent requests you should be aware of are those that try to capture your login credentials. These emails will have urgent calls to action like, update your account information after it being compromised and send a fraudulent link that obtains your username and password for a particular account. Avoid inputting your sensitive data through emails.
- Fraudulent links are becoming more common in phishing emails. Similar to #3 attackers may include spoof or fraud weblinks in emails to gain access to your information. They have also advanced to include both real and fake links, to seem more legitimate. If the links seem suspicious, avoid clicking on them as this can give attackers a chance to gain access to all of the information on your computer.
- The final tell-tale sign of a phishing email are spelling/grammatical errors. Emails that contain an excessive amount of spelling errors or poor grammar may be indicative of a phishing attack. Be vigilant when examining emails so as to not dismiss an excess of these errors.
If you or anyone in your company has received a phishing email, and you need assistance securing your IT infrastructure from these attacks, contact 1R Technologies to consult about our service offerings as a premier Managed Service Provider.