Email Safety... How to spot Phishing Emails
It is more important now than ever before, to be cautious in cyberspace. It seems like every day we hear of another business getting hacked, files being held for ransom via ransomware attacks on company operations.
In 2020 alone, several government entities across the country were held ransom and in 2021 we all remember the infamous Colonial Pipeline attack that had half the country scrambling to find gas.
Often these hackers gain access to the systems they wish to compromise through phishing emails. Another common way to gain access to your data is through weak passwords or heavy re-use of passwords… but we will get into that in my next article!
Well, you might be wondering … What is a Phishing Email? A Phishing email is a fraudulent message designed to trick you into revealing sensitive information to the attacker. They then use the information you provide to login to your secure system (Email, Intranet, social media, et cetera) and deploy malicious software that steals important information and locks your files. Once they have locked your files, they then send you a message demanding payment to unlock your files.
This has been a very lucrative “business” for hackers around the world because most of us in the United States will just pay the ransom. After all, the cost of halting business operations far exceeds the price of the ransom.
Well, here at Millennium Technology we want to help our community recognize these types of emails so you can avoid becoming a victim. Here are some tips and tricks to help keep you safe:
One of the first things to look for when receiving an email is the “from” line on the email. For example, if it is an email from your bank, check that the domain name in the email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) matches the official domain name for your bank.
Visit your bank’s website… if their website is abcbank.com but the email is coming from 123bank.com then that is a phishing email. However, it is acceptable if the email is email@example.com because the most important part of the email address to pay attention to is the last part (abcbank.com) if that part of the domain name is different altogether then it is a fraudulent email!
Secondly, if the email is asking for sensitive information like your social security number, bank account number, password, etc…. that is a HUGE red flag.
If you get an email telling you your password is expired and to click here to update it… 99% of the time that is a scam… most reputable businesses and organizations would never send an email asking for you to update your password in this manner.
Lastly, make sure not to click on/download any attachments from emails that you are suspicious about… this is another tactic hackers will use to gain access to your computer, hence gaining access to your network and files.
BONUS TIP! If the email is full of grammatical and spelling mistakes that is a tell-tale sign that it is a scam.
We hope that these tips will help keep you safe as you conduct business on the web!
Stay tuned for more useful articles from all of us here at Millennium Technology!
Last Updated: Tuesday, June 21, 2022 at 7:59 AM