Emails are a powerful weapon for any business to harness. They’re a great way to communicate with customers and coworkers, share automated notifications, and perform marketing campaigns.
That said, are there any risks that come with email?
The downside of email is that cybercriminals use the power of email in malicious ways. One such way is with phishing scams. If they manage to get an unsuspecting person to click on their link, send their personal information, or open up an attachment, this can result in devastating results for a company.
Due to this, it’s vital you – and your employees – know how to spot a phishing email. Here are five tips to help.
1. Grammatical mistakes
Grammar mistakes can happen at any time. Someone can accidentally use the wrong term, forget a comma, or misspell a word. However, these typically won’t be present in an email – particularly one from a large organization. These are messages that are usually carefully constructed and proofread before they’re sent.
This means if you come across an email that’s littered with spelling mistakes and poor grammar, those alarm bells should be ringing. Even colleagues will tend to use a spell-checking tool by default before sending an email, so you shouldn’t be seeing these types of errors.
2. Inconsistent email address
One way to quickly check if an email is from a legit source is to analyze the sender’s email address. If this fails to correlate with the brand it’s supposed to be representing, that’s an instant red flag.
For example, say you have apparently received an email from Amazon. Yet if the email address is “email@example.com”, you instantly know something is wrong. The same also applies if there are inconsistencies with the domain names and URL links.
3. Suspicious greetings
If you’re receiving an email from a colleague or a business you know has your details, the message will tend to begin by including your name. As a result, if an email lands in your inbox with a generic greeting, this should arouse suspicion. This is the same if that greeting incorporates unusual phrases.
4. An offer too good to be true
Offers are one of the primary forms of communication via email. Take a look at your personal email account on any regular day, and you’ll typically find deals such as 20% off orders and free delivery from your favorite brands.
However, phishing emails will typically push it a little too far to grab your attention. They will supply you with an offer that’s simply too good to be true. Rather than fall for it, simply put it into your spam folder.
5. Urgent action now!
Another way phishing scams will attempt to entice you is by requesting urgent action. This usually takes the form of a negative consequence if you don’t react as soon as possible. Scammers will often go this route because it rushes you into action before you can stop to think. Before you’ve realized what’s going on, you have already clicked on their link or sent your personal details.
Instead, take a step back and make sure you analyze the message thoroughly before taking any action.