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How to Identify Signs of a Phishing Attack

How to Identify Signs of a Phishing Attack
Computer hacker stealing data from a laptop concept for network security, identity theft and computer crime

Data breaches are becoming an unfortunate norm today.

There are many different types of attacks, but one of the most common is phishing. When a phishing attack is successful, the hacker will be able to get a foothold in the network, which means they will have access to confidential data. This is the last thing that anyone wants.

Considering the prevalence of phishing-based scams, we are going to take a look at some of the signs of a phishing attack. If you notice any of the indicators mentioned below, it is likely the email you have received is a phishing email, so you need to be cautious.

An unfamiliar greeting or tone

One of the first things you should look out for when it comes to phishing emails is an unfamiliar greeting or tone. If the language simply does not sound quite right, this could be because the email has not come from the person it is claiming to be from. 

Request for payment information, credentials, and additional personal details 

One of the most advanced forms of phishing emails is when an attacker creates a fake landing page that recipients end up being directed to once they have received an email that appears to be from an official-looking email.

When you land on this fake landing page, it will have a request that you make payment to resolve the problem or that you use some of your personal details to log in. You need to be incredibly cautious.

Look at the URL, and search it to see whether or not it is a scam. If you’re unsure, contact the company.

Inconsistencies in the domain names, links, and email addresses

Another straightforward way of determining if an email is a phishing attack is to look at any discrepancies with regard to the domain names, links, and email addresses.

For instance, it is a good idea to check prior correspondence to see if the originating email address matches or not. A lot of hackers will be very careful with the email address, choosing something similar, or they will type the correct email address in the subject line to try and fool people. So, when you are checking this, you do need to look with a scrutinizing eye.

Suspicious attachments

If an email has an attached file and it has come from a source that is familiar, you should never open it! You always need to be super cautious before you open an attachment.

Some of the extensions that are commonly linked with malware downloads include .scr, .exe, and .zip. If you have never seen the extension before, this is something else that should be setting off red flags in your mind. 

To conclude, there are a number of different indicators that hint that the email you have received is a phishing email. As phishing scams continue fooling individuals and businesses, it’s more important than ever that you protect yourself and your organization. For businesses, a provider of IT services in Normal, IL can help you set up email spam filters and train your employees on how to detect phishing emails.

If you have noticed any of the signs that have been mentioned above, it is imperative that you do not open any links or attachments. Put the email in the trash. It is always better to be cautious.