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By Danielle Hoverman • October 29, 2018

Is That Email Legitimate? Remain Vigilant by Spotting Email Phishing Scams

 Interested in Cyber Security? Contact our Experts Today!

The fifth week of Prosource’s National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) Campaign features cyber security tips complementing the theme, “Is That Email Legitimate? Remain Vigilant by Spotting Email Phishing Scams”.

Phishing continues to be one of the biggest threats businesses are facing today, both in terms of network security and financial loss. The more users are aware that these types of attacks exist and the more they know about these attacks, the less likely they are to fall victim.

Here are 3 tips to help you identify email phishing scams. 

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Tip #36: Make Sure Email Subject Lines Match the Message

95% of attacks are the result of successful spear phishing.[1]

If the subject line of the email doesn’t match the message in the body of the email, it’s likely to be spam. Look out for subject lines that are aggressive or urgent, or that are written with improper capitalization and punctuation. Make sure you carefully read emails, so you can catch any inconsistencies in the messaging.  

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Tip #37: Check to Make Sure the Sender Email Address and the URL Match Up

Email account takeover attacks have increased by 126%.[2]

If the “From:” field doesn’t match the sender’s name, then it’s likely that the email is spam. Phishers will use email addresses that are similar to the company being mimicked, like jeff.bezos@amazon1.com when impersonating the CEO of Amazon or dschulman@paipal.com when impersonating the CEO of PayPal. Another indication that an email is spam is if the URL doesn’t match up to the company name. Phishers create fake domains to mimic larger companies such as Amazon, Target, Best Buy, PayPal, and more. A cyber criminal may send you an email that contains a link to the phishing website. The website typically has a URL that is slightly different than the original website, like www.paipal.com impersonating www.paypal.com or www.amazon1.com impersonating www.amazon.com.

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Tip #38: When in Doubt, Don't Click

Online phishing attacks are up 297% over last year.[3]

If you aren’t sure if the email is legitimate or a scam, don’t click any links or take any action the email is requesting. It’s best to search the company requesting information online and call their customer service line to verify the email. Be cautious about opening any attachments or downloading files from emails you receive, even if it looks like it is from a friend or co-worker–unless you are expecting it or know what it is. Always think twice before clicking a link or downloading an attachment in an email.

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About Prosource NCSAM: As declared by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the National Cyber Security Alliance, October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM). The cyber security experts at Prosource created their own version of NCSAM to help SMBs across the United States increase their understanding of common strategies used by cyber criminals and ways to keep their SMBs protected against cyber attacks.

Every Monday in October we’ll send out an email with the week’s 7 cyber security tips and tricks to help your business become more vigilant against cyber threats. You can also check our Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter pages for daily tips and tricks. To sign up to receive our weekly emails, click here.

[1] https://blog.dashlane.com/phishing-statistics/  [2] https://www.inc.com/will-yakowicz/biggest-email-phishing-scams-2018.html [3] https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2018/10/24/investigation-online-phishing-attacks-up-297-percent/1741033002/

Interested in Cyber Security? Contact our Experts Today!