Did you know that 3.4 billion fake emails are sent every day across the world?
Most of the ones sent are email scams. These email scams that can cause individuals or businesses to give away personal data and information or even lose hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Staying safe online is very important, so knowing what to look for in these phishing emails is vital. Read on to discover our 5 tips for spotting a phishing email.
What Is a Phishing Email and How to Avoid It?
Email phishing is a fake email that is sent by hackers or cybercriminals to individuals or businesses. The emails often claim to come from a reliable source or business, but in fact, aren’t associated with the source of business at all.
There are many different types of email phishing templates, that are designed to look credible and usually ask the recipient to click on a link. If the recipient clicks on the link, it usually takes them to a page where the hacker tries to steal their personal data or account information. Luckily there are several ways to spot whether the email is legitimate or if it is a phishing email:
1. Spelling Mistakes
One way to decide whether an email is a phishing email is to look out for spelling mistakes. Spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, and poorly worded emails are all things that indicate it isn’t a legitimate email. Emails that are sent from reliable sources are often written and proofread for these mistakes, whereas cybercriminals don’t pay as much attention to this.
2. Personal Information
Another thing to look out for is that they ask for your personal information or for you to confirm your information. Legitimate businesses never deal with personal or sensitive information over email.
If the email asks you to share personal information or asks you to update your information and asks you to click on a link, it’s probably a phishing email. Remember that most businesses won’t send you an email asking for your password, credit card information, or tax number.
3. Fake Looking Email Address
A big tell-tale sign is the email address that has sent you the email. If this looks fake then the chances are that it’s a phishing email.
Often scammers will include the name of the business in their email, however, if you look closely there will be an indication that it isn’t that authentic. For example, if you receive a legitimate email from HSBC might have an email address like email@example.com, whereas a fake email address might look like firstname.lastname@example.org. Those of you who are still unsure can always contact the business and ask if it was them who sent the email.
4. Email Not Addressed to You
You should avoid phishing emails if they aren’t directly addressing you. Most businesses will start an email off with ‘Hello/Dear [your name]’, however email scammers might not know your name so they put something like ‘Hello valued customer’ or ‘Dear account holder’. If an email doesn’t use your name, then you can assume it is a phishing email.
5. Attachments Are Included
If you receive an email from somebody that you weren’t expecting and it has an attachment, you should be suspicious. The attachment could contain a virus or malware that could damage your computer.
Try to avoid opening the attachment, as it likely is a scam. However, if you want to open the attachment, make sure you check it with antivirus software first. Learn more about how to find the top email scams and what you can do to avoid them.
Protect Yourself From Phishing Emails
Follow our 5 tips for spotting a phishing email to keep yourself safe online. Remember if you aren’t sure about an email you’ve received to contact the business who sent it and ask if it was legitimate.
Be sure to peruse our other articles and find out how you can stay safe online.