IT support in Orange County must constantly deal with the fallout which comes from phishing hacks. As a result, they’ve grown quite well-versed in the identification of phishing emails that generally act as gateways for associated malware, identity theft, and other negatives which result. Employees and management at every level need to make screening email something that happens automatically. To that end, four things to look for which generally indicate a phishing email are:
- Email with attachments
- Don’t click demanding links
- Sender anomalies: always read the sender’s email address closely
- Time stamps and grammatical errors
Email with Attachments
First and foremost, attachments should always be treated with suspicion. Look at the size, type, and name of the file; then, consider whether it’s something you may reasonably expect. IT support in Orange County often recommends security protocols which run through the tips in this list, among others, to determine whether or not attachments are bad. How’s the email worded; is the email address one you recognize; was it sent at a reasonable time; and, is the message written with proper syntax?
Something else to look for, if there is a message, is whether that message matches the manner of speech of the individual belonging to the email address. It’s hard to simulate personality, and this can be communicated in text. But it may be useful for a business to simply institute a protocol that eliminates direct receipt of attachment downloads at work, and instead use some kind of cloud solution to transfer files.
Don’t Click Demanding Links
Many phishing scammers design emails that look authentic, and come from a bank or other integral provider of personal services. The emails will have the right letterhead, graphics, and a message that says something like: “Your bank account has been compromised, click the link below to enter in your account number and verify your assets.” If you follow the link and enter your details, your account really will be compromised. Anything urgently demanding information from you is suspicious.
Sender Anomalies: Always Read the Sender’s Details Closely
Many times, phishing scammers “ape” email addresses in your contact list. If you’ve got Bob Johnson in your contacts, you may get an email from Bob Johnston. Very similar, but different. Watch the domain portion of addresses as well. If it says: “[email protected]”, when the proper email would be “[email protected]”, that can be easy to miss. So be sure you always read the sender’s address carefully.
Time Stamps and Grammatical Errors
Many phishing scams emanate overseas. As such, noon to them may be two in the morning for you. If the email came in at a time when nobody local would be working, that’s suspicious. Additionally, many phishers don’t speak English as their native language, so you can expect to see quirky word choices and spelling errors.
Keep Phishers Out of Your Business Sea
IT support in Orange County through Technijian can provide IT security best practices to help you avoid phishing scams of many kinds. Contact us to arm your team against pernicious phishing scams.