Phishing is an attempt designed by Internet scammers to obtain sensitive information from individuals primarily through malicious e-mails. Learning the 5 Red Flags of how to spot a phishing email can protect your business from a ransomware attack.
Why is phishing so rampant these days? It’s simple. There’s lots of money to be made by criminals. Here’s 3 staggering statistics about phishing:
- 76% of organizations reported being victim of a phishing attack in 2016.
- 95% of all attacks on enterprise networks are the result of successful spear phishing. SANS Institute
- 30% of phishing messages get opened by targeted users and 12% of those users click on the malicious attachment or link.
Cybercriminals sometimes disguise themselves as your financial institution or service provider and have various ways of defrauding individuals. One way is by installing malware on your device that could reveal confidential information about you, such as your banking details and passwords to other sensitive information.
Other times, you may be tricked into entering these details yourself and forwarding to the scammers.
Individuals are at the risk of losing confidential information when they don’t recognize the red flags involved with phishing e-mails. It is imperative to spot these red flags to avoid being a victim.
How do you do this? What are those 5 Red Flags or signs you should look out for? What are the sure signs that someone is about to steal your information? We have compiled a list below.
Phishing Red Flag #1: Spelling and Bad Grammar
Internet fraudsters do not have all the time in the world to check and recheck if e-mail contents are correct. In fact, they are not known to possess outstanding grammar skills.
Business organizations and other professional institutions do not just forward messages to individuals. They are usually staffed with a team of copy editors who ensure the organization’s statements are devoid of grammatical blunders.
Therefore, if you receive an e-mail that is full of blunders, it is most likely a scam.
Phishing Red Flag #2: Minor Errors and Lack of Details
If there is one thing common to phishing e-mails, it is the lack of profound information. Usually, you can spot these scam e-mails by considering the details provided.
They have little or no details because they really can’t provide any and are also filled with minor errors. If you find such an e-mail as this or a closely similar one lacking details or giving incorrect information, ignore or delete it immediately.
Phishing Red Flag #3:Threat
Haven’t you received one of those generic messages sent to several users that if they do not take certain actions, they might have their accounts deleted from the platform? Or that your bank account will be suspended or frozen?
They are empty threats sent by Internet fraudsters waiting for you to reveal certain information. These threats usually come with security or financial formats.
Some are aimed at telling you that your bank details need verification, or you need to make some false security update. These are all red flags you need to spot.
Phishing Red Flag #4: Request for Personal, Business, or Financial Details
No other red flag is as obvious as this. Many times, you receive e-mails from accounts pretending to be your bank or business partner even though you have never done business with them.
They might ask you to provide some details about your business or finance. If this happens, decline such a request by simply ignoring it.
Phishing Red Flag #5: Spoofed URLs and Insecure Websites
Many times, scammers use insecure web platforms to forward phishing e-mails to the unsuspecting public. A secure website will start its address with “https://” rather than “http://.”
Also, be sure to hover around the URL without clicking to verify if the title correlates with the supposed content.
In addition to the tips provided above, you can also avoid being a victim of phishing e-mails by:
- Not clicking on untrusted web links.
- Not installing software and applications that are not recommended by your software provider or those you never solicited.
- Copying the content of the e-mail on your search engine to see if there has been a similar e-mail, and to know the details about the e-mail
If Your Organization Needs Help Managing Cybersecurity
Envision Consulting specializes on helping businesses of all sizes implement , manage and support cybersecurity best practices to minimize the risk of becoming a victim of a breach. If cybersecurity keeps you up at night and you’re ready to take action, schedule a call with a member of our team.